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Cheerleaders Compete in NCA National Championship
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2018-01-31

            Upper Perkiomen's Cheerleading Team seized its participation in the 2018 NCA High School National Championship last weekend, according to head coach Kristen Funk. She said  the highlight of the event in Dallas, Texas came when the group was honored for its ambassadorship and leadership.

            On the medal stand, Funk spoke about Tyler Markoski, the only male member who missed all of summer camp to complete basic training with the U.S. Army Reserves, and Rachel Behm, a junior team member who missed the trip due to illness.

            "We celebrated Rachel," Funk said of Behm, who has been afflicted by large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

            According to the coach, the junior connected with her teammates via Face Time and watched them perform at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on   Facebook from her hospital bed at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

            The Tribe finished fourth out of six teams in the Advanced Large Game Day Division during competition on Jan. 27-28. The unit also took seventh and eighth place, respectively, in Timeout Cheer and Timeout Dance competitions.

            "The girls did great," Funk said. "They didn't know what to expect, but they embraced the entire experience."

            According to the coach, the Indians – who finished sixth in the PIAA coed Competitive Spirit Championships on Jan. 20 in Hershey – qualified for the national event during an NCA summer camp. She described the camp as integral to the development of the program.

            In its main completion, the team ended the first day in fifth place overall after completing its routine, according to Funk. She said that on the second day, with the addition of more challenging stunt sequences, the score jumped 2 ½ points. Upper Perkiomen finished a point out of third place, one point behind Pennsbury, from, Fairless Hills in Bucks County.

            "The additions worked out," Funk said.

            In the timeout cheer competition, the Indians utilized routines from the football season. They repeated halftime performances at basketball games during the timeout dance division, according to the coach.

            At the end of the two-day event, Funk talked about her team's fundraising efforts to help Behm – a 4-foot-11 flier – who is recovering from a stem cell transplant. "Every day her numbers are starting to grow," the coach said. "Rachel is amazing.

            Funk lauded the nine seniors on her team, all of whom competed in three straight national competitions. They were sophomores when the Indians the team won the Varsity Coed division title at the Cheer Ltd. Nationals at Canam event in Myrtle Beach, S.C.


 

 

 

 

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