RICHMOND - The third trip proved to be the charm for Wilson Memorial on Saturday, as the competition cheerleading team breezed to the Group 2A state championship.
With two nearly flawless routines, the Green Hornets captured the state title with superior stunts, energy and showmanship.
"It was their heart," praised head cheer coach Renae Bailey. "Since week one (back in August) they wanted it (a state championship). That was their goal."
After getting upset in the Conference 36 Tournament by nearby R.E. Lee, the Hornets took the Region 2A competition last week en route to Richmond.
Despite a momentary music glitch to start round one, the Green Hornets came on like gangbusters building to a crowd-pleasing finale which propeled the Fishersville-based group into round two with a score of 253.5, outdistancing the rest of the eight-team field.
But after the four finalists were selected by the competition judges, the Green Hornets' opening score was thrown out as the four teams returned for the second round.
Wilson was joined in the finals by 2A East regional qualifiers Luray and King William and 2A West representative Graham.
King William’s squad upped their game, coming up with a second round total of 247 points but Wilson, performing last, nearly duplicated its opening routine, totaling 252.5 points to take the first-place trophy back to Fishersville.
Last year, the Hornets made it to the state finals, but came in seventh, but Saturday, the Hornets left no doubt which team was the best.
Wilson's presentation, difficulty, choreography and energy level were unmatched as the Green Hornets swept to the title.
"I was a little nervous going into round two, but all year, the team has been a second round kind of team," Bailey said.