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Weirton Madonna Head coach: Jennifer Barnabei

It has been a positive year for Madonna cheering and head coach Jennifer Barnabei, who is in her second year at the program.

“Our cheerleading program has had a fantastic year,” Barnabei said. “At regionals in the fall, our competition squad had a very positive experience.”

There are 13 girls on the OVAC competition squad but more than 20 cheerleaders getting the crowed hyped at the basketball games and they are hoping to get the crowd on its feet on Feb. 4 at WesBanco Arena for the OVAC cheering competition.

“We are proud that our program continues to grow,” Barnabei said. “The girls are much looking forward to performing their OVACs competition routine in a few short weeks.”

Choreographer Joey Takacs has been working hard to create a routine that best fits the Blue Dons and Barnabei couldn’t be happier with how it has turned out.

“Our routine is upbeat and energetic,” the Dons’ coach said.

“The choreography is both challenging and fun and it truly reflects the awesome personality of our team. Our OVAC routine combines a variety of creative dances, strong tumbling passes and exciting jump sequences. It is sure to be a routine that will get the crowd enthused and eager to watch.”

The 13-girl team ready to impress consists of seniors Mallory Santoro and Alexa Kessel; juniors Miah LeFever, Emily Rovira, Tomi Pavan and Allie Morrocco; sophomores Alyssa Gobleck, Abby Nickerson, Alex Backel and Elle Greco; and freshmen Rachel Miller, Lexus Melnyk and Sabrina Sauer.

“We are extremely proud of our cheerleaders for all of their hard work leading up to competition,” Barnabei said. “Our cheerleaders are dedicated to doing their best day in and day out at practice. They consistently work together to achieve their goals and to exceed our expectations.

“It has been a pleasure for us to watch our team grow and improve through the year and we feel confident the girls will showcase both their strong cheerleading skills and their school pride.”

Barnabei spent her years before Madonna as the cheering coach at Pequea High in Pa., while running many cheerleading clinics for youth programs, where she choreographed halftime routines for youth cheering squads.

Barnabei is assisted by Danielle Weimerskirch.

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