Colonials to be led by captains Kari Johnston, Morgan Hodge

COLONIAL HEIGHTS - With veteran cheer captains leading the way and talented youth joining the squad, an acrobatic Colonial Heights Competition Cheer team looks to make 2017 a successful year.

"Captains Kari Johnston and Morgan Hodge bring four years high school competing experience to the mats," said Colonial Heights Cheer coach Mary Vaughan, who added, "The six freshmen are amazing. They bring tumbling, strong basing and flyers with great body positions."

Vaughan said tumbling will be the biggest difference in this year's team from last year's group.

"We have a full squad that can do back handsprings and have moved up in our level of tumbling difficulty," she said.

Vaughan added that the biggest obstacle her team will need to get over is "learning that you have to try different positions to make the stunting the best for the team."

Last year the Colonials placed third in the Conference 25-Colonial Rivers meet. But this year, there will be no conference competitions with teams that qualify for the postseason heading straight to regionals. Vaughan noted that the change "means that you have to perform your best at the region competition in order to advance to states."