It was a change many fans attending Monday night's Notre Dame men's basketball game might have missed, but it was an out-of-this-world opportunity for a few teenage girls. The chance to lead cheers at a big time men's college basketball game.
The young women from Penn High's cheerleading team were called onto the big stage to sub for the Fighting Irish cheer squad, who were away on winter vacation.
Penn's cheerleaders had much to celebrate. Notre Dame showed flashes of brilliance as they annihilated Sacred Heart 106-65 on Monday night. Jack Cooley lead the way for Notre Dame with 19 points. The Irish (8-5), won their 27th straight home game, shooting 61% from the floor and 53% from 3-point range.
The Irish will now take a week off over the holidays before opening Big East play at home against No. 13 Pittsburgh.
But this story isn't about a mismatch on the court, it's all about the high school girls who had a good time soaking in the ambiance around South Bend.
“You get the fun college atmosphere and it’s not something that a high school student like me gets,” sophomore cheerleader Haley Stesiak told ABC 57 South Bend. “Being a cheerleader and experiencing this is such an awesome opportunity and I am so glad to be here.”
Penn High, located just outside Mishawaka, Indiana, was established in 1958. The public school, whose mascot is the Kingsman, has an enrollment of just over 3,500 students.
An announced crowd of 7,042 fans were on hand at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind., to watch the game and enjoy the energy of the Penn High School cheerleaders.
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