By Michelle Colesanti

Cheerleaders not only exhibit school spirit and encourage the students and fans at the games and events they participate in, but are also great athletes in their own right.

Danielle Griffith, a member of the Bloomingdale Varsity Cheerleading team for three years, is this year’s recipient of Hillsborough County’s 2012-13 Outstanding Cheerleader Award.

This award, which has been presented since 2008, was started on behalf of Wayne Williamson, former Director of Athletics for Hillsborough County, who is a major supporter of cheerleading as an official sport. His daughter, Karen Snapp cheered for Brandon High School and he later coached the cheerleaders at Burns Jr. High School and Bloomingdale High School where her squad won several Hillsborough County Western Conference Cheerleader Championships in the 1990’s.

Griffith has helped to lead her team to achieve many goals, placing fourth at Western Conference and tenth out of 18 teams in the Large Varsity Division in the semi-finals round at the FHSAA State Cheerleading Championships in February. She was a member of the 2010-11 FHSAA State Title Champions and the inaugural FHSAA Regional competition, placing first in 2011.

She was chosen by her teammates and coach to lead her Varsity team during her senior year. She learned life lessons throughout and handled all with ease and grace. She became an extension of her coach and teammates and was always dependable.  She understood that being a captain means being held to high expectations both on and off the mat.

Her parents, Angela and Brad Griffith said, “As parents, we are proud of the hard work and dedication Danielle has put in to cheerleading in the last four years.”

Griffith is also involved in many other school activities including Student Government, Freshman and Sophomore Steering, Spanish Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Rho Kappa, National Honor Society, Community Pep Rally, WBUL TV Production Club and more all the while maintaining a 3.8 GPA (weighted 5.5)

The trophy she received will stay at Bloomingdale High School through the next school season. Griffith also received a plaque which she gets to keep.


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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.