From what was once no more than a pep club, competitive cheerleading has evolved into a major sport. Athleticism is now the focal point in this sport, which has taken hold across America. Area cheering guru, Nita Burchette, again directed the competition that showcased some of the most dedicated students in the county’s 13 middle schools. Judged on traditional cheers, dance, gymnastic skills and precision, area teams from Carver, Chester, Davis, Matoaca and Salem all performed at an extremely high level, thrilling the large crowd at Matoaca High School. The teams all overcame the challenge of lost practice time as a result of the inclement weather that has plagued area in recent weeks.