In February the students of the Baldwin High School Cheerleaders competition team competed with the best in the country at the National High School Cheerleading Championship hosted at ESPN at Walt Disney World. The teams had a stand-out season leading up to the event. In January at the WPIAL competition the team earned first place in the Large Varsity division as well as being the highest overall score of all 33 competing teams in that competition. The team advanced to the PIAA State Championship in Hershey, where they came in 5th overall.
The team is coached by Dena Mihalsky and Taryn Madden. Mihalsky reflects on the National High School Cheerleading Championship: "At the NHSCC event both of our teams, Game Day and Mat, accomplished their goals and more! Both teams began in preliminary rounds. Our Game Day team advanced straight through to the finals round (due to highest scoring team in this round) and bypassed the semifinals. Our Large Varsity team advanced from the preliminary round, to the semi final round, and then making it to the ultimate goal as well—the finals round. This was the first time that as a program, we were able to get both of our teams into finals in the same year!" The Game Day team placed 7th out of 27 and the Mat Team placed 8th out of 33 teams in the nation!
"By nature, cheerleading involves a lot of teamwork due to the skills needed to be performed. To be able to practice and perfect these skills, the focus on becoming a team needs to begin at the start of each season. All 31 cheerleaders came together from the beginning of the year and worked together until the very end of the season to accomplish their team goals. The captains played a major role in their ability to become and work as a team through both success and setback," said Mihalsky.
Team member Skylar Kely shared, "I am so proud of what we accomplished this year as a team. All 31 girls and our two coaches worked very hard all year long and it all led to our great performance at Nationals. I am so thankful to be a part of this amazing team that has become family!"
Mihalsky shared, "Taryn and I are so proud of the determination of the 2019–2020 team. They set goals in the beginning of the season and worked tirelessly until they achieved them. At times, it seemed like they encountered repeated challenges, but they never gave up. Each challenge they faced made them work harder and want to reach success even more."