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The Dansville Online
  • Dansville claims cheer title

  • Dansville scored a total of 355 points to top Class B2 at the Section V Cheerleading Championships Saturday afternoon at RIT’s Gordon Fieldhouse, claiming the program’s first sectional title since 2007.

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  • Phyllis Greene knows a thing or two about the word “stronger.”
    Greene has been traveling to Philadelphia for cancer treatments every three months since being diagnosed last June. Despite the accompanying challenges and physical discomfort that come along with the illness, Greene maintained her post alongside husband Larry coaching the Dansville Mustangs cheerleading squad.
    “Stronger” became the theme for both the Greene’s and their squad, and Phyllis’ motto of dedication and bravery in the face of adversity certainly rubbed off on the Mustangs.
    Dansville scored a total of 355 points to top Class B2 at the Section V Cheerleading Championships Saturday afternoon at RIT’s Gordon Fieldhouse, claiming the program’s first sectional title since 2007.
    “That ‘stronger’ theme came from taking her to Philadelphia every three months for cancer treatment of the eye,” Larry said. “She was in a room where she had to be secluded by herself because of the radiation in her eye. She’s in there crying because she couldn’t do anything. I said Phyl, you just need to stay stronger. That’s all we could do, pull together.
    “About that time, that song, Stronger, was on the radio. We built our whole dance routine around what that means to us, and the girls know that.”
    Dansville’s 355 points edged out fellow Livingston County squads Wayland-Cohocton (346 points) and Hornell (329) in the top-three. Greece-Odyssey and Marcus Whitman completed the top-five with 325 and 313 points, respectively.
    The sectional title capped off a stellar 2011-12 campaign for the Mustangs, who also won the league title this season.
    “Our theme this year has been stronger. They’ve lived it,” Phyllis said of her squad. “They’ve lived it along with us. They worked so hard. They’ve just been phenomenal. They couldn’t have done it any better, no matter what the scores were. They couldn’t have done it any better.”
    Larry and Phyllis were also named the Class B2 Coaches of the Year in voting conducted before Saturday’s competition. When asked of the Coach of the Year award, Phyllis quickly deflected the attention to Larry.  “We couldn’t do it without each other,” Phyllis said.
    “Not without her,” Larry countered. “We’re a package set.”
    Meanwhile, a familiar champion emerged in Class D1 during the early morning session. Avoca capped off perhaps the strongest season in the program’s history with its third straight sectional title.
    “They had a great showing,” said Avoca head coach Gay Fairbrother. “They hit everything. It was the best I’ve seen them perform this season. All around we were just outstanding.”
    The top-five was dominated by Steuben County squads. Just as they did at the Steuben County Cheerleading Championships earlier this month, Jasper-Troupsburg followed Avoca in second-place. Arkport was third and Hammondsport was fourth.
    Page 2 of 2 - Allegany County’s Fillmore broke the Steuben County strangehold on the top-five place finishers in Class D1, which had 13 total squads.
    “That’s a pretty good showing for Steuben County,” Fairbrother said. Avoca senior Beth Wellington received the Leadership Award, while Fairbrother was named the Class D1 Coach of the Year to provide the perfect end to a banner season.
    “They just nailed it. They were on fire. It’s been a great season,” Fairbrother said. “We started with a first-place at the Greater Rochester Cheerleading Tournament. That was the first time we ever won our division at that big tournament. We won counties, and we won the Utica Open State Tournament Class D title.
    “A sectional title is the most meaningful to us. To end with that, we’re just so happy.”

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