Cheerleader competition squads in Zachary have been very busy lately competing and working on skills for upcoming events.

Following Universal Cheerleaders Association competitions in Baton Rouge and Dixie Championship cheering in Jackson, Mississippi, area cheerleaders are looking to finals and nationals in Orlando and more competition in 2015, according to Shannon Milazzo, competition cheer coach over the Zachary High School, Northwestern Middle School and Zachary Cheer Academy squads.

Zachary High squad finishes second in regionals

The high school competition cheerleaders competed Dec. 6 in a regional competition in Jackson, placing second in the large varsity division. The girls will compete Jan. 17 at the Worldwide Spirit Association’s Cheer Competition at the River Center in Baton Rouge and Jan. 31 at Live Oak High School before ending their competition season at the Universal Cheerleaders Association’s High School Cheer Nationals in Orlando, Florida on Feb. 7-8.

“Although we’re a young team with 10 freshman, our upperclassmen leadership is second to none. The girls work hard year-round to compete at five competitions. This is one of the strongest teams I’ve coached in over 10 years,” Milazzo said. “They were good competitors in middle school placing fifth, eighth and 12th at the UCA Nationals at Disney, but this year, they’ve taken it to a different level of competition. I am truly looking forward to a wonderful finish in Orlando.”

ZHS competition squad includes seniors Bailey Cranford, Ali White and Cami White; juniors Ryleigh Carr, Caitlin Halphen, Lauren Kinchen, Madison Neal and Skylar Shaw; sophomores Taylee Corkern, Karli Hall, McKenzie Sullivan and Ana Williams; and freshman Mallory Charlet, Catherine Halphen, Cheyenne Harvin, Callie Howell, Emily Hunt, Lindsey Naquin, Morgan Peairs, Kiswayla Scott, Maggie Terral and Tessa White.

Northwestern cheerleaders win at competitions

The competition squad at Northwestern Middle is off to a great start, Milazzo said.

The NMS competition cheerleaders placed first at the UCA Louisiana Regional on Nov. 16 at Live Oak High School and first place in the Dixie Championship held Dec. 6 in Mississippi.

The NMS squad will compete again at the WSA Nationals Jan. 18 at Live Oak High.

“The cheerleaders started off slow this year, but have worked extremely hard cheering at all school events as well as practicing for competitions. This is by far the youngest team I have ever coached at a middle school level,” said Milazzo.

“The team is dedicated and works daily to improve. This year should be a very exciting time at Disney with high hopes of both teams making it to finals and placing in the top ten,” she said.

The NMS competition team includes eighth-graders Morgan Cooper, McKenzie Daigle, Julia Kinchen, Londyn McGehee, Kayla Parker, Jamie Stagg, Lauren Thompson and alternate Alyssa Wittig; seventh-graders Camille Cranford, Madison Holmes, Julie Odom and alternates Gaby Bremermann and Nya Jackson; and sixth-graders Orsciana Beard, Courtney Cook, Karley Naquin, Claire Milazzo, Dominique Wittig, Kelsey White and alternate Haley Sink.

Zachary Cheer Academy teams perform well

Milazzo’s three Cheer Academy competition squads also competed in the UCA Louisiana Regional and Dixie Championships.

“All three teams did a super job at both competitions,” said Milazzo. “I couldn’t have been more proud of these girls. They work hard and have very little practice time each week to improve.” Milazzo added that the Cheer Academy squads began cheering for the Southern Louisiana Youth Football League’s Junior Bronco Football teams this year, which has turned into a true fan experience.

“The girls get to relax and have fun without the stress of competing. I hope the experience teaches them the importance of supporting teams as well as competing against them,” said Milazzo.

The ZCA cheerleaders will compete at the WSA Nationals on Jan. 18 in Baton Rouge; JAMfest Mega-JAM Series on Jan. 24 in Baton Rouge; and conclude the season at the U.S. Finals in Pensacola, Florida on April 11-12.

The Cheer Academy’s Red squad finished third at Live Oak in the Pee Wee Division 8-under and took second place at the Dixie Championship.

ZCA Red cheerleaders are Maci Amarello, Jayla Barber, Jaylee Barber, Presley Boudreaux, Ally Brown, Kristen Cook, Rebecca Hemba, Mary Grace, Paige Marionneaux, Anna Grace Melius, Callie Townsend, Avery Tucker and Mallory Vince.

The Cheer Academy’s Blue squad finished in first place at Live Oak and first place at the Dixie Championship in the Pee Wee division for those 8 years old and younger.

Cheerleaders are Bailee Adams, Hayley Barrett, Shane Campbell, Kaylin Cooper, Vianne Elkins, Lexie Guercio, Ava Harbourth, Alaishia Joseph, Kaylea Marionneaux, Tiarra McPipe, Abby Morris, Caroline Murphy, Alivia Pierson, Anna Rash, Emma Rogillio, Kacey Taylor, Riley Vince and Maci Watson.

The Cheer Academy’s Black squad competed in the Junior Division 12-under and finished in third place at Live Oak and fifth in the Dixie Championship. Cheerleaders are Ali Grace Anderson, Rylie Avants, Lindsey Beard, Stella Chaney, Sydney Copeland, Laryn Girior, Eryn Glygoneck, Katera Hamiliton, Maggie Hawkins, Madison Hawkins, Ryleigh Kennedy, Kamryn Kramer, Alyssa Labrano, Kaitlin Lewis, Kate Sullivan, Kemille Vidrine, Lizzie Vidrine, Madelyn Watson and Mary Francis Whitehouse.