The cheerleading competition at the Mason-Dixon Basketball Tournament was an outgrowth of a friendly gesture by the Tennessee School for the Deaf cheerleaders and their sponsors. In 1965, when the tournament was at TSD, the two TSD cheerleading squads supported visiting teams at the tournament. They wore the color of their "adopted" team over their TSD uniforms. This gesture was well received and the idea of cheerleaders at the Mason-Dixon Basketball Tournament "caught-on". Coaches and other people connected with the tournament felt that the cheerleaders added to the spirit of the competition. It also gave the cheerleaders something to look forward to. In Alabama, 1971, another incentive for the cheerleaders was formally adopted. A championship trophy was given that year and the initial trophy was won by TSD. In 1972, Florida took home the trophy from the competition which was held in North Carolina. Kentucky School for the Deaf grabbed the honors in 1973 and thus was born the cheerleaders competition that has developed into a real and enthusiastic rivalry among the eleven southeastern schools.
From 1974 to 1976, by dint of determination, enthusiasm, and hard work, the TSD squad captured the trophy each year.
In the meantime, thought was being given to second and third place finishers. It was felt that talent was going unrecognized and the challenge was too limited. So at the 1977 tournament at the Virginia School for the Deaf, three trophies were awarded: Kentucky took first place, North Carolina took second, and Alabama third.
Because of the increasing popularity of the cheerleading competition and the continued development of high levels of skill, it was decided at the 1978 Tournament (Tennessee) to add a Traveling Trophy to be presented to the winning team. This trophy has been designated as the Miss Cobb Traveling Trophy in honor of Miss Regina Cobb of the Tennessee School for the Deaf. After 20 years it will be awarded to the team with the most wins.
In addition, it was decided that the winning team members would be awarded individual trophies. So, good luck cheerleaders! May the best squads win each year.
Cheerleading Competition Awards