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The AFNORTH Lions cheerleading squad won the Division III title at the DODDS-Europe cheerleading competition in Mannheim, Germany, on Saturday. The Lions also won the Spirit award and placed three members on the all-tournament team.

The AFNORTH Lions cheerleading squad won the Division III title at the DODDS-Europe cheerleading competition in Mannheim, Germany, on Saturday. The Lions also won the Spirit award and placed three members on the all-tournament team. (Michael Abrams / S&S)

Photo gallery: DODDS-Europe cheerleading championships

MANNHEIM, Germany — Competitors from 27 schools squared off Saturday at the annual DODDS-Europe cheerleading championships.

The Department of Defense Dependents Europe students danced, twirled, tumbled — some even soared.

"You can’t be afraid if you’re a flier," said freshman India Whitaker, a member of the Baumholder Bucs squad who was tossed several feet into the air.

More than 200 girls and a few boys took center stage, and they did a lot more than wave a few pompoms around. To the thumping beats of hip-hop, they danced intricate steps. When they weren’t dancing, they were hoisting fellow members on their shoulders and arranging themselves into high-flying stunts.

"Each year, they keep raising the bar," said Hope Matthews, who organized the competition.

And the crowd liked it. When the girls asked, they chanted back slogans and school letters.

"It feels great to know that they are supporting you," said senior Danielle Reddick, a member of the Incirlik Hodjas.

Reddick and her fellow Hodjas traveled from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to compete in the event. But the small team wasn’t afraid of the competition.

"You got to be confident," Reddick said, and give it your all."

2009 DODDS-Europe Cheerleading CompetitionDIVISION ICompetition: 1st Place – Heidelberg Lions; 2nd Place – Patch Panthers; 3rd Place – Ramstein RoyalsSpirit Award: Heidelberg LionsAll-tournament: Heidelberg — Jacqueline Montfleury, Nachelle Allen, Tess Taylor; Kaisterslautern — Jasmin Hunt; Lakenheath — Michelle Sullivan; Patch — Geneva Croxton, Ahslez Tenberg; Ramstein — Niki Wachtel, Kaitlyn Haas; Vilseck — Ciera Royster

DIVISION IICompetition: 1st Place – Bitburg Barons; 2nd Place – Ansbach Cougars; 3rd Place – Mannheim BisonSpirit Award: Ansbach CougarsAll-Tournament: Aviano — Nikkia Patterson, Belinda May; Mannheim — Tre Simmons, Christopher Broeker; SHAPE — Alexandra Leininger; Ansbach — Tiffany Heard, Tiffany Bunch, Francesca Barrale; Naples — Dana Coburn; Bitburg — Tehya Dresser

DIVISION IIICompetition: 1st Place – AFNORTH Lions; 2nd Place – Baumholder Buccaneers; 3rd Place – Hohenfels TigersSpirit Award: AFNORTH LionsAll Tournament: AOSR — Cindy Pratesi; AFNORTH — Elizabeth Crate, Ashley Haycock, Marissa Henderson; Baumholder — Ciara Toone, Dezaya Marcus, Jordan Lewis; Hohenfels — Vanessa Wells; Vicenza — Janetta Prados, Ebonie Newton

DIVISION IVCompetition: 1st Place – Rota Admirals; 2nd Place – Sigonella Jaguars; 3rd Place – Incirlik HodjasSpirit Award: Rota AdmiralsAll Tournament: Alconbury — Kristina Robbins; Ankara — Candace Addison; Incirlik — Danielle Reddick; Lajes — Meghan McClain; Rota — Tasha Eisenhower, Bryanna Hudson, Vanessa Frost; Sigonella — Jasmine Askew


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