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HILLSVILLE –– The Carroll County High School cheerleaders hosted their inaugural Cheerleader Alumni Night Jan. 6 during a CCHS basketball quad with Tazewell.
More than 70 former cheerleaders turned out for the event, with graduating classes ranging from 1975 to 2011. The former Cavalier cheerleaders traveled from Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville, Winston-Salem and Roanoke, with of course several from the immediate area.
A reception was held in the cafeteria prior to the varsity basketball games, giving the cheerleaders an opportunity to get reacquainted and to practice the school fight song dance. The cheerleaders then danced to the fight song, played by the CCHS pep band, during halftime of the boys’ game.
The former cheerleaders recognized coach Nicole Lyons with a signed frame, a flower for each of her years in coaching and a silver star crystal award in recognition of Lyons’ 20 years of coaching cheerleading at CCHS.
During Lyons’ tenure, the Cavalier cheerleaders have won six district championships, three region championships, earned three trips to the state competition and won the right to cheer at the Florida Citrus Bowl 17 times. In addition, nine Cavalier cheerleaders went on to cheer in college, four have become Universal Cheerleaders’ Association staff members and 34 have been named all-Americans, traveling to cheer in London or Paris.
“When I went to [CCHS principal] Dr. [Scott] Watson and [athletic director Darrin] Matthews about the idea for an alumni night and they were excited about the alumni returning,” said Lyons. “We had no idea the response would be this great. The gym was packed and it seemed as if everyone had a wonderful time reconnecting. The alumni danced like they were recent high school graduates. I was quite impressed with all of them.”