HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — An impressive squad of young Marylanders has been pulling off stunts, tumbles and jumps for more than two decades. Now, they’ve landed a reputation as one of the region’s top competitive cheerleading teams.

The five-time world champion Maryland Twisters compete year-round across the country. They come up with a two-and-a-half-minute routine filled with stunts, jumps and tumbling and then are judged based on their execution and creativity.

“Within that very small time constraint, we have a lot of things to hit on a score sheet which makes this sport very fast, very quick,” the group’s president Tara Rall said.

Rall said since she started the Twisters in 1998, they’ve become one of the best teams in the mid-Atlantic and have grown to include locations in Hanover, Harford County, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County, Salisbury and Sterling, Virginia. That designation didn’t come easily; it took a lot of guts, courage and faith in teammates to pull off their moves.

“It’s 100 percent trust,” team member Dennis Cook said. “You definitely have to build that trust and you have to give 110 percent the whole time because if you don’t people can get hurt really easily.”

There has been more interest in the sport recently, especially after the premiere of the Netflix docuseries “Cheer” that follows the nationally-ranked Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team in Texas.

Many start at a young age, sometimes as three or four years old. As teammates, they’re very dedicated and love the sport.

“The love that not only me but that everybody on my team and everybody in this program has for all-star cheerleading is like crazy,” team member Erica Karinshak said.

The team is gearing up to head to the prestigious Cheerleading Worlds 2020 competition on April 24-26.

Stetson Miller


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