PENDLETON — The Pendleton Heights High School varsity cheer team took first place at the varsity cheerleading state championships Saturday, Nov. 4, at New Castle High School.

“We killed it. They were awesome. They were on fire. I’m so proud of them,” coach Brenda Jamerson said. “It was definitely the most energetic, entertaining and exciting (show all season) — from beginning to end they were on fire.”

Forty varsity teams from across the state filled the New Castle Chrysler Fieldhouse to participate in the competition, sponsored by the Indiana Association of School Principals.

Pendleton Heights was tops in the Varsity B division, competing against seven other teams. They bested Jasper and Bishop Dwenger, which took second and third place, respectively.

“It was full house at New Castle, and they did what they needed to do,” Jamerson said. “They deserve every bit of that state championship.”

Jamerson said the team made one mistake, but just went on like nothing happened, with an enthusiastic crowd cheering them on.

Greenfield-Central placed fourth, and Lowell placed fifth.

Scores or other placements outside of the top 5 are not released. The other schools in the division were Bedford North Lawrence, Jay County and Mooresville.

The division include Varsity A to D, Varsity Co-Ed and High School Time Out.

Each team was given a chance to perform a 2½-minute routine, showing off stunts, flips and cheers it uses to rev up crowds on their home turf.

At the end of the night, trophies were handed out to the top five teams in each division and the rest were recognized for their efforts.

In October, at the 2017 Indiana Cheer Championship at Westfield High School, the Pendleton Heights High School junior varsity team became state champions in a field of 14 teams, and the Arabians stunt group tied for first place with Silver Creek High School, Sellersburg.

Pendleton Heights Middle School, in the junior high large division, finished state runner-up at Westfield.

The Pendleton Heights middle school, junior varsity and varsity teams will compete in the local Hoosier Championship, a Universal Cheerleaders Association event set for Nov. 19 at Pendleton Heights.

Varsity will be the only team competing there to attend the National High School Cheer Championship in Orlando from Feb. 9-12.

Reporter Caitlin VanOverbergh contributed to this report.

Class B competitors

State Champion: Pendleton Heights HS

State Runner-Up: Jasper HS

State Third Place: Bishop Dwenger HS

State Fourth Place: Greenfield-Central HS

State Fifth Place: Lowell HS

Also competing: Mooresville, Bedford North Lawrence, Jay County

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Scott Slade is community editor. He can be reached at 317-477-3229 or