Tug Valley, the 2009 state champion, had a drop during their performance on the floor at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum in Charleston on Saturday, and was happy to finish second behind state champion Liberty Harrison.
"We're happy," Tug Valley Coach Tara Ellis said following the announcement of the winner and runner-up. The Tug Valley cheerleaders burst out of their seats and ran onto the floor when it was announced they had finished second. "We worked hard, but we're happy and, under the circumstances of the routine, we couldn't be more proud of the girls. We weren't expecting to place at all. We had a few issues. We had a few falls. But, obviously, we are still one of the best teams in the state and it all worked out for us. Liberty did wonderful. If you have to be runner-up to anybody, we're glad it's Liberty."
Tug Valley finished with a score of 304.7, while Liberty Harrison won the Class AA competition with a score of 322.9. Placing third was Lincoln with a score of 300 and Scott High from Boone County placed fourth with a 291.4.
Gilbert scored 297.85 to place third behind state champion Clay Battelle, which scored 304.65, while Notre Dame finished second with a score of 302.7.
Gilbert coaches Teresa Cline and Jessica Houck were in shock at how low they finished.
"We don't know what happened," Cline said as tears rolled down her cheeks. "Other coaches told us they thought we won. Wheeling Central's coach even came down said we should have won. Our girls performed so well."
"We're proud of our girls. They put on what we thought was a flawless performance," an emotional Houck said.
This was the last year for the Gilbert cheerleaders. Gilbert will consolidate with Matewan, Burch and Williamson next year into the new Mingo Central High School at Red Jacket.
WVOW Radio's Erin Williamson-Murphy was the Civic Center announcer for this year's event.