Greater Johnstown senior to cheer at Pitt-Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Greater Johnstown senior Piera Britt has been involved with cheerleading and competitive spirit since she was in first grade. Britt, who was a part of the Trojans’ PIAA Class 2A small varsity competitive spirit championship squad this past winter, won’t need to go far to continue her career in the sport.

Britt announced at Greater Johnstown High School Thursday that she will be taking her skills to Pitt-Johnstown, while receiving a full scholarship as part of the the Robert M. Smith Scholarship Fund – a program between the university and the school district that offers 10 annual scholarships to Greater Johnstown alums.

“When I found out that she was getting the full scholarship to go to UPJ, I was blown away to say the least,” Greater Johnstown cheerleader coach Teri Maser said. “I’m so proud of her. I’m so excited for her. I know this means a lot to her, she was so excited to tell me about the opportunity for the full scholarship. It speaks volumes that she was deserving.”

Britt noted that Greater Johnstown’s run to PIAA gold during the winter competitions rekindled her desire to stick with the sport.

“It just feels great to have been a part of that,” Britt said. “Being on the team, winning District 6, regional and PIAA is just awesome. I think that’s what made me want to cheer again, because I finally go experience that my senior year. So I feel like I can’t be done now.”

Britt pointed out that her experiences in cheering have been positive, while shaping her to be a better person.

“The people in it have pushed me and encouraged me to be the best person I can be,” Britt said. “Everyone has given me so much confidence in myself in every decision that I make.”

Britt, who was working mostly as a base in stunting with the Trojans squad in competition, has her eyes on the skies when taking the next steps at Pitt-Johnstown.

“I’m hoping to be a flyer,” Britt said. “Whenever I was younger, I used to go to Bishop McCort and I was a flyer there for a little bit, but I’ve also gone to ‘flight schools’ and ever since high school cheer has ended, I’ve gotten my friend to come to my house or the local gym – Turner’s. And we’d just stunt, and I’d be the flyer so I could be prepared for that and try out for that position.”

The Pitt-Johnstown squad is coached by Kristi Clifford with one of Clifford’s assistants – Suzanne McIntosh – also a Greater Johnstown alum.

Maser, a 1991 graduate of Greater Johnstown, shared that Britt joining the cheerleading team at Pitt-Johnstown completes a full circle between Britt and her coach.

“I told her that not would we share the same high school alma mater, but that we’d share the same college now, too,” Maser said. “I’m excited for her.”

The daughter of Missie Britt, Piera plans on majoring in physical therapy while studying at the Richland Township campus.

“I just love how everyone feels like family,” Britt said. “The bond that everyone has. That’s just something I want to be a part of.”