Wong named National Cheerleader of the Year

Two Oak Harbor students athletes received some of the largest cheerleading honors in the country last weekend in Fayetteville, N.C.

Wildcat junior CJ Wong was selected as 2006-07 National Cheerleader of the Year, while teammate Tyler Theriault placed third.

Wong is the first male to be selected for this prestigious honor. He will receive a $2000 scholarship, and travel across the United States and to England as a representative of cheerleading.

“It was an exhausting weekend but well worth every minute,” Wong said. “It is still sinking in that I was selected.”

Theriault received a $750 scholarship for his third place finish.

“This was both a learning and competing weekend,” he said. “If you want to learn anything and everything about cheerleading the South is the place to travel.”

The competition was open to all juniors across the nation who maintained a 3.0 GPA and cheered in school or on an all-star team.

Oak Harbor High School cheer coach, Pam Headridge, nominated her two athletes for the title in November. Each candidate had to submit a portfolio of their school and community service, letters of recommendations, of academic transcript and a video of his technical skills. A selection committee of experts in the field of cheerleading from across the country narrowed the numerous applicants to 40 in March.

Wong and Theriault, with Headridge, journeyed to North Carolina last weekend to compete for the title of 2006-2007 National Cheerleader of the Year. Each cheerleader was interviewed, performed a creative presentation and demonstrated their technical skills in jumps, tumbling, dancing and cheering. The group was narrowed down to 20 finalists. Once more, each cheerleader performed his technical skills at an evening pep rally at the National Cheer Conference. Their cumulative scores from all events determined the winners.

The cheerleaders also attended classes in strength training, jump power, nutrition, creating school spirit, tumbling and stunting while in North Carolina.

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