For the seniors of the Briar Woods High School competition cheer team, winning is just what they do. After winning the state title three years in a row, from 2009 to 2011, the Falcons were shocked when they finished runner-up to Tuscarora for the Dulles District regular-season title.
But the Falcons have rebounded. Briar Woods won the district meet title and then topped it off by claiming their fourth straight Region II meet title Nov. 3 at John Champe High School in Aldie.
“I think that a lot of things, building up throughout the season, gave them the motivation to perform the way they did this weekend. One of the things being the second place finish in the regular season,” Briar Woods coach Kristen Develli said. “It’s something we’re not used to.”
Briar Woods used that motivation to earn a score of 252, 11 points better than runner-up Sherando.
The Falcons are led by a strong contingent of 13 seniors, many of whom are four-year veterans of the program.
“They play an extremely important role,” Develli said. “The maturity of an athlete is just different from age 14 or 15 to 17 and 18, both mentally and physically.”
“With younger girls coming into the program, the seniors set the pace and the tone for the program. We try to stress positivity and encouragement in all of these young athletes,” Develli added.
The Falcons will travel to Richmond Nov. 10 for the state meet, where they hope to earn their fourth consecutive state title. Develli notes that coming in as the repeating state champ adds a bit of pressure to the team.
“The more you win, the more people want to see someone else on top,” Develli said. “We just try to play our game and stay humble.
Tuscarora will join Briar Woods at the AA state competition after placing third in the region meet. The Huskies are in the midst of their best season in the program’s third year.
Stone Bridge, Broad Run are state bound
The Virginia AAA state competition cheer meet will feature two Loudoun teams. Stone Bridge cheer finished third in the Northern Region meet with a score of 267.5. Broad Run also finished in third at the Northwest Region meet, after winning the Cedar Run District title earlier this year.
The AAA and AA state competitions will take place Nov. 10 at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center.
-All photos from the Region II competiton cheer championship round.—Times-Mirror Photos/Rick Wasser
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