Fayette County will be represented by an old-timer and a newbie at this weekend’s state cheerleading championships.

For the seventh straight year, Class AA Region 3 champ Oak Hill will seek the state crown, as will Class A Region 3 runner-up Fayetteville, which will be participating in its first-ever state event.

OHHS squad members are Chelsey Light, Amber Koch, Megan Miller, Desireé Hughes, Hannah Butcher, Jessica Lambert, Deja’ Jones, Samantha Farrell, Christin Dennler, Branisha Banks (captain), Kayla Richardson (captain), Hilliary Johnson, Sherain Thomas, Brittany Burnett and Leisha Banks. They are coached by Angela Keffer.

Oak Hill scored 323.125 points to capture the regional crown in November. Runner-up Independence tallied 314.6.

FHS team members include Sierra Halstenberg, Tabitha Myers, Courtney Parrish, Amy Holly, Jenny Smith, Jade Hamilton, Corie Seay, Jessica Parsons, Chelsea Gometz, Haven Campbell, Coty Proskin, Erica Payne, Sarah Prichard and Jessie Sullivan (alternate). They are coached by Edie Davis.

Greenbrier West claimed the Class A regional crown with 334.975 points, while Fayetteville scored 325.125.

The state tourney will be staged Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at the Charleston Civic Center. Tickets will be $8 for adults and $7 for students.

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The Pirates’ three seniors are anticipating the Saturday event.

“I’m excited; it’s the first time Fayetteville has gone,” said Erica Payne. “We were real excited at the regionals, because we knew we were going to do well.

“We changed our routine (since regionals) and made it more difficult. We’ve put a lot of hard work into it.”

“We’re nervous but confident that we’re going to do well,” added Coty Proskin, who, like senior teammate Haven Campbell, is in her fourth year with the program. “We’ve got a new coach and a brand new squad, and we’re more dedicated.

“We want to win.”

Campbell says she “expects to place pretty high.” “We’re doing more difficult stunts and tumbling; that’s what got us down there,” she added.

Their coach, Edie Davis, said, “It’s been a long, hard, grueling month after regionals. We changed the routine to make it harder, and we worked 3 to 4 hours a day on it. We’re really excited to get to go.”

— E-mail: skeenan@register-herald.com

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