A year after winning a national championship, New Oxford's cheerleading team had a young team with numerous new members. The Colonials still managed to place fourth at the United Cheerleading Association nationals in the medium varsity co-ed division Saturday in Orlando, Florida.

Fleming Island High, from Orange Park, Florida, won the division. Davie County from North Carolina placed second, and Archbishop Rummel from Louisiana placed third. The Colonials topped Bentonville High from Arkansas to take the fourth spot.

New Oxford's top-five finish comes a year after New Oxford won the national championship in the same division. The Colonials welcomed 15 new members to their 25-member roster this season, and the majority of the team is composed of freshmen and sophomores.

"Overall, I'm very pleased with everything," New Oxford head coach Chris Topper said. "15 of our kids were brand spanking new and their skill level has grown. In nationals, you're facing the best from Texas and California and you've got to be on your game and execute. The kids handled themselves well."

The fourth-place showing at nationals marked an end to another successful season for the Colonials. New Oxford successfully defended its PIAA championship earlier this season, winning the program's fourth consecutive state title.

Out of the 11 teams to make the finals in the medium varsity co-ed division, New Oxford was ranked eighth after the semifinals Saturday afternoon. The Colonials managed to jump up four places in the finals.

"We had some issues we had to clean up after the semis but we had a mistake-free finals," Topper said. "We thought we'd get in the top three, but we ended up right around there. We have a lot of kids who'd never cheered before and this was a great experience for them."

Red Lion competed in the same division as New Oxford. The Lions advanced to the semifinals but did not reach the finals, with just 11 teams qualifying for finals.

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