Cheerleaders return from competition with trophy

PLAINVIEW – The cheerleading squad from Wayland Baptist University earned a first place trophy in the college co-ed division at the recent Christian Cheerleaders of America competition held in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The squad competed in the CCA nationals for the first time, choosing the competition because of the Christian values upheld by the group. According to Richard Varnon, a senior from Spearman and the squad’s coach, the CCA event was a great atmosphere in which to compete with schools of like mind.

“It was more than just a competition to us,” Varnon said. “It was a growing experience in Christ.”

Varnon said the competition was also a valuable recruiting opportunity for Wayland, since the cheerleaders were able to visit with many high school students and their families interested in Christian schools.

Varnon said several CCA leaders from Abilene led the summer cheerleading camp at Wayland this past year and the local squad was impressed with their talent and character. The national competition felt like a natural fit.

Along with Varnon, members of the squad include seniors Heather Robison of Slaton, Dustin Stephens of Van Alstyne, Tabatha Harmonson of Abernathy, Anna Garnett of Fairbanks, Alaska; sophomore Evan Winegarner of Darrouzett; and freshmen Blake Haney of Plainview, Shawn Kelley of Plainview, Cassie Pene of Shallowater, Shalisa Ladd of Muleshoe, Ashley Reynolds of New Deal and Missy Pawelek of Lovington, N.M.