After moving up from Class 3-A, Bluffton cheerleading coach Beth Herring expected her team's first trip to the Class 4-A State Competitive Cheer Championships to be tough.
But it appears the trip itself might be as tough as the competition.
"I'm just waiting to see what's going on," Herring said.
Herring had planned to leave with her team after Bluffton's playoff football game tonight at Goose Creek. They would drive part of the way, spend the night in a hotel and drive the rest in the morning in time to get their work in before they compete.
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But then Goose Creek was disqualified from the playoffs and Bluffton's game was changed to a home game. Herring then decided the team would leave early from Bluffton and wouldn't stay halfway.
Now Goose Creek has sued the S.C. High School League, asking for reinstatement, and there's a chance the team's travel plans could again be altered, this time at the last minute.
"It really does affect us," Herring said of her team of 20 girls and one boy. "I have to plan for a whole team and let them know how to pack, and that's all up in the air."
Fortunately, the Bobcats don't have to take part in the parade of teams for 4-A until 4:20 p.m. Their actual performance time is 5:36 p.m.
"It's going to be a long weekend, especially when you don't know where you're going to be tomorrow night," Herring said.
Bluffton, which finished fourth in the Lower State finals, had reached the Class 3-A state championships three years in a row before moving up this year.
"Class 4-A is really tough," Herring said. "... We're hopeful, but it's pretty tough. It's a big deal to make it to state in our first year in a new division. But it's a whole new ballgame."
Like Bluffton, Hilton Head Island advanced to state last week, finishing third in the 3-A Lower State meet at Lower Richland. It's the Seahawks' first trip to the finals in four years.
"We faced some solid competition and finished third in Lower State and first in region," coach Annette Lee said. "Several seniors went when they were freshmen. The girls are excited. They've been working hard this week."
Michele Hughes also coaches the Seahawks.
2012 State Competitive Cheer Championships
Saturday, The BI-LO Center, Greenville
Admission: $10, ages 5 and younger free
WARRIORS EARN REGION HONORS
Coaches from Region 5-A voted for the All-Region football and volleyball squads, and Whale Branch Early College High School was well-represented.
In football, Dee Delaney was named the Region 5-A Offensive Player of the Year and the Wide Receiver of the Year.
The senior had 899 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns on just 35 catches for a 25.69 average. He accounted for 17 total touchdowns and six two-point conversions.
Delaney was joined on the squad by defensive lineman Tyrick Spicer and freshman offensive lineman/defensive lineman Nyles Pinckney.
In volleyball, the Warriors' Jamie Whalen was named the Player of the Year. She was joined on the team by Maddy Summerill and Kenyada Moultrie.
ONE MORE SIGNEE
The Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy and the Heritage Academy had one more college signee on Wednesday, in addition to those featured in Thursday's edition of the Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette.
Fatin Amin signed a golf scholarship to play at the University of Tampa. She is originally from Malaysia.
Area athletes who have signed with colleges during the early signing period that opened Wednesday:
Whitney Morrell, softball, UNC Central
Fatin Amin, golf, Tampa
Ben Dietrich, golf, South Carolina
Emily Hammond, swimming, UCLA
Olivia Landino, golf, Western Carolina
Ayaka Nakayama, golf, Central Florida
Poom Pattaropong, golf, James Madison
Barbara Rodriguez, tennis, Boston University
Matt Rushton, golf, Notre Dame
Scarlett Walston, tennis, East Carolina
Mickey Werenski, golf, Texas A&M
Hilton Head Christian
JD Lehman, golf, Louisville
Hilton Head Island
Mary Bolgan, swimming, South Carolina
Camille Felix, swimming, Georgia Tech
Cassie Ley. swimming, Florida Southern
Hilton Head Prep
Gracie Anderson, crew, Northeastern
Jill Brunori, basketball, Wake Forest
Kelly Dodd, tennis, Villanova
Andrew Schafer, tennis, USC
Juan Sheppard, tennis, Furman
Woody Woodward, golf, Wake Forest