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Members of Guam High's cheerleading team celebrate with the team banner Nov. 12 following the school's first Division I championship in the weeklong Far East competition at Matthew C. Perry High School, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
Members of Guam High's cheerleading team celebrate with the team banner Nov. 12 following the school's first Division I championship in the weeklong Far East competition at Matthew C. Perry High School, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. (Photo courtesy of Kim Cowdrey)
Members of Guam High's cheerleading team celebrate with the team banner Nov. 12 following the school's first Division I championship in the weeklong Far East competition at Matthew C. Perry High School, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
Members of Guam High's cheerleading team celebrate with the team banner Nov. 12 following the school's first Division I championship in the weeklong Far East competition at Matthew C. Perry High School, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. (Photo courtesy of Kim Cowdrey)
Members of Robert D. Edgren's cheerleading team celebrate with the team banner following last weeks Division II championship, the school's third in four years, in the weeklong Far East competition at Matthew C. Perry High School, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
Members of Robert D. Edgren's cheerleading team celebrate with the team banner following last weeks Division II championship, the school's third in four years, in the weeklong Far East competition at Matthew C. Perry High School, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. (Photo courtesy of Leah Sledge)

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — For one team, winning the competition was old hat. For the other, it was school history.

Robert D. Edgren won the Far East High School Cheerleading Competition Division II title for the third time in four years here last week. Guam High, meanwhile, claimed the school’s first Division I title in the five-day event held at Matthew C. Perry High School.

“I cannot express how proud I am of how hard the girls worked and how far they have come,” Guam High’s cheer coach Kim Cowdrey said of a team headlined by senior captains Brittany Ann Cowdrey and Britanie Bing.

Edgren’s head coach Pamela Tucker, currently deployed with the Army to Afghanistan, said she was “engulfed with excitement” at the news.

“Each member of our team is equipped with the heart of a champion. I attribute our success to the ‘can-do’ spirit of our athletes,” Tucker said of a team co-captained by seniors Lizzie Sather and Brianne Soeder.

Each team competed for top individual and team honors against five other DODDS schools in each division. The competition also served as a camp and clinic run by the National Cheerleading Association, which has overseen the event since 2000.

During the competition the NCA staff would teach each team various fundamentals, after which the teams would put together a routine that would be graded by NCA staff, culminating at week’s end by overall individual and team awards.

“It was truly a blessing working with such wonderful, talented young ladies,” said Cowdry, adding that Guam High was offered a national bid to compete in an event in January at Dallas.

Tucker also credited her assistants Kristen Bryant and Bobbie Kane and team sponsors Leah Sledge and Amy Sweeney for keeping things together in her absence.

“It helps to have a coaching staff, sponsors and an administration that operates as one cell,” Tucker said. “To win it all, was surreal.”

ornauerd@pstripes.osd.mil

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He served 10½ years in the Air Force, the last 4½ assigned to Stripes in Tokyo, and was then hired by Stripes on Oct. 25, 1985. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages Pacific Storm Tracker.
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