Whitley County Dazzlers won the national title in Myrtle Beach, S.C. last weekend. Front row, from left: Alexis Kyles, Samantha Pfeiffer, Mary Hyndman, Brooke Silk, Ava Rowe and Sydney Pequignot. Back row, from left: Elaine Horn, Vanessa Bills, Kaycee Bills, Jyl Riemesma, Payton Jagger, Alisha Kimmel, Loryn Usher, Sarah Horn and Brenna Halferty. Photo contributed
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Bringing home a national award is cause for celebration for any team, squad or group.
But for Vanessa Bills and the Whitley County Dazzlers, winning a cheerleading national title is somewhat shocking.
â€śI didnâ€™t even realize we would be competing like that,â€ť said Bills who is the Dazzlerâ€™s coach.
The special needs cheerleading squad is open to any age and gender in Whitley County who has a disability.
Last week, the squad took its first cross-country trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to compete in Cheer Ltd.â€™s national competition.
â€śI was worried at first when we got down there and found out we would be competing. Up until now, weâ€™ve only performed in exhibition,â€ť Bills said. â€śBut as the event coordinators put it, these girls like to get awards too. They work hard and practice hard. Why shouldnâ€™t they get a chance to earn a trophy?â€ť
Not only did the squad earn a trophy, but each individual cheerleader took home three medals.
â€śI think some of the girls are still wearing their medals,â€ť said Bills. â€śIt meant so much to them. The whole time we were there, they were catered to. They felt like stars.â€ť
To read the rest of this story, see the March 21 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.