2022 NCHSAA Cheerleading Invitational

The 2022 championship wraps-up with Cardinal Gibbons and Weddington brining home top honors.


RALEIGH, NC – The NCHSAA Cheerleading Invitational took place at the Raleigh Convention Center, featuring routines in junior varsity and varsity divisions, as well as Gameday and Competitive Cheer divisions. The Carolina Cup, awarded to the top varsity team regardless of division in the competitive cheerleading competition, made its 20thappearance at the competition as it was collected by Cardinal Gibbons, who scored 83.8 points to win the Cup for the fourth time in history and the first time since 2015. The Tarheel Trophy, in its second season at the Cheer Invitational, is awarded to the top varsity team regardless of division in the gameday cheerleading competition. Weddington nabbed the Tarheel Trophy with its 92.9 score in the Varsity Game Day D1 Division. 


2022 NCHSAA Cheerleading Scholarship Recipients

The NCHSAA is proud to recognize and reward outstanding cheerleaders exemplifying sound character and academic standing, good sportsmanship and school spirit by providing financial assistance in furthering his or her college or university education. The NCHSAA awards four $500.00 scholarships annually, one to a cheerleader in each of the NCHSAA’s four classifications. The recipients of this year’s $500 NCHSAA Cheerleading scholarships are Madeline Chandler from Bear Grass Charter, Carly Sanderson from Whiteville, Sarah Hunyh from Lake Norman Charter, and Lily Woodell from Northwest Guilford.

To qualify, the recipient must be a college-bound senior varsity cheerleader at an NCHSAA member school. Recipients must be on a participating team at the NCHSAA Cheerleading Invitational for the respective year and be planning to enroll in an accredited institution of higher education in the year following graduation. Applicants must be well-rounded individuals demonstrating excellence in Cheerleading with outstanding presence of school spirit, community service involvement and academics with a minimum average GPA of 3.0 throughout the student’s high school career. Recipients are selected from qualified applicants who submitted essays and recommendation letters from their coach and other school personnel. 


1A        Madeline Chandler                                         Bear Grass Charter School

Madeline Chandler is a senior at Bear Grass Charter. Madeline carries a 4.0 GPA and is ranked second in her senior class. In addition to cheerleading, she is a member of the school’s concert and marching band as a first-chair flute and piccolo, as well as a section leader. She has been active in the FFA all four years of her high school career, including serving as a National Delegate for NC at the FFA National Convention. She is active in her church, serving in missions and as a member of the worship team. She credits cheerleading with giving her the confidence to be an encourager to teammates and friends, noting that cheerleading taught her that failure is often the first step toward success. Madeline plans to attend NC State University in the fall of 2023, where she plans to study history. 


2A        Carly Sanderson                                                Whiteville High School

Carly Sanderson is a senior captain of the cheerleading squad from Whiteville and holds the prestigious title of Miss Whiteville High School. With that title, earned through winning the Miss Whiteville High Pageant, she volunteers time at the local elementary school and reading to students and planning activities for them. She is also president of the National Honor Society at Whiteville while planning in participating in service projects for that organization. Carly has learned the value of teamwork and dedication through cheerleading and plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to pursue studies in biomedical engineering or biology, with the hope of becoming a clinical researcher in the fight against cancer. 


3A        Sara Hunyh                                           Lake Norman Charter

Sara Hunyh is a senior captain of the cheer squad at Lake Norman Charter. In addition to serving extensively with Lake Norman Charter’s Kiddie Cheer Camp, she has been involved in leading the Key Club at the school and founding the school’s Coding Club. She learned that overcoming fear through challenging yourself is a great way to grow and build confidence in your abilities through participating in cheerleading. Now as a leader both in cheer and in clubs and tutoring activities, she uses that same mentality of introducing new skills and challenging peers to tackle new challenges to improve. Sara plans to attend a four-year university and study Computer Science, hoping to conduct research on socioeconomic factors that prevent early computer science education and develop educational resources for teachers and students to introduce the fundamentals of programming.


4A        Lily Woodell                                         Northwest Guilford High School

Lily Woodell is a senior cheerleader and varsity captain at Northwest Guilford High School. She is a captain for both the game day and competition cheer teams at Northwest. She is incredibly active member of service projects including “Out of the Garden” a group that works to eliminate hunger in the local community, the Key Club, and the Oak Ridge Teen Leadership Group, run solely by students with the goal of raising money for local charities. She credits cheerleading with teaching her organizational skills and how essential communication is to the success of a team. Lily plans to study biology and hopes to become a physician’s assistant following her collegiate career.