Five Johnston County cheerleading squads notched top 10 finishes at the 12th annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association state invitational cheerleading championships at the Raleigh Convention Center last month.
North Johnston led the way, finishing fourth in the small varsity non-tumble division. Princeton was seventh in the large varsity non-tumble division. Cleveland and Corinth Holders both competed in the large varsity class. Cleveland took eighth and Corinth Holders was ninth.
Cleveland’s junior varsity squad was fourth in the small junior varsity division.
State recruit Parham wants to improve: Southeast Raleigh High junior quarterback Dylan Parham said his commitment to N.C. State makes him want to work harder.
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“There is so many areas where I want to improve,” Parham said. “I need to improve my accuracy and my throwing. I want to get better in reading defenses. I just want to become a better quarterback.”
Parham has been a quarterback for three years. He had played defensive back and wide receiver before he was moved to quarterback as a freshman. He played on the junior varsity that season and eventually won the varsity starting quarterback job during his sophomore season.
Last year, he passed for 1,773 yards and was beginning to attract national recruiting attention. He is 6-foot-5, weighs 200 pounds and is elusive. He moves well in the pocket and throws with velocity and accuracy.
He has learned to read coverages in coach Mike Thibodeau’s system. Parham has two or three options on most play calls.
“I love playing quarterback because you get to touch the ball on almost every play,” he said. “You can improvise some and make decisions about where the ball goes.”
Wake plans stunt season: Stunt, a new high school varsity sport for girls in Wake County schools, is on the way. Eighteen schools, divided into two nine-team conferences, will begin competition in a series of tri-meets in April.
Stunt is a structured competition that has some similarities to competitive cheerleading. But in stunt, participants are judged on the mastery of skills in a designated routine. The scoring is based on executing a particular routine. The teams compete head-to-head simultaneously and perform the same routine.
One of the best analogies may be diving. Judges are looking to see mastery to a standard.
Tryouts begin March 2, a couple of weeks after most spring sports begin because many of the potential players are expected to be involved in cheerleading during the winter sports season.
A video of the routine that will be performed this season will be made available to coaches in February.
“We’re really excited about stunt,” said Deran Coe, the Wake County senior administrator for athletics. “To have 18 schools participating the first year is a good sign. We believe this is going to be a very good sport for us.”
Coe said some squads may have up to 40 participants.