Cheer squad wins state championship

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home competition cheer squad finished first among six teams in the 4A Large Division at the cheerleading championships held at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland on Saturday.

“We did fairly well overall,” said Coach Amber Rosa, although the co-ed division swept the championships again. The highest score in the championships went to Springfield with 70.25. Only three of 10 coed teams beat the Huskies’ score of 61.53.

Five of 13 large 6A/5A and three of 14 small 6A schools had better scores than Sweet Home, while only one out 13 large 5A and one of five small 4A schools, Cascade High School, finished with high scores.

Finishing behind the Huskies in the 4A Large Division were South Umpqua with 53.85; Brookings Harbor, 52.7; Klamath Union, 50.08; Cottage Grove, 47.28; and Henley, 42.93.

“They were really good this year,” Rosa said of her team. “It’s the hardest routine they’ve ever done.”

Usually adjusting for state, the team cuts away some of the toughest pieces, she said. “We left it all in there this year.”

The team performed double downs for the first time this year, she said. It’s a cradle stunt where a cheerleader is tossed into the air and spins twice before coming back down. In the past, they’ve done a single spin.

“We also hit three positions in our lid sequences,” Rosa said. That’s when a girl is held aloft by the others. She holds her leg up, changing its position as the formation turns.

The team’s pyramid, where all of the girls were touching, was the trickiest the team has ever done, Rosa said. That was probably one of the toughest parts along with a jump backhand spring and a couple of standing backups, like a back flip without the hands.

She credits several types of athletes who could make it work this year, Rosa said. “Honestly, we sat down at the beginning of the year and realized we have a huge amount of talent on this team.”

The Huskies had raw talent, the hard workers and the athletes who improve through years of experience, she said. “We worked so hard. We can do it if we just work – if we have the talent.”

Sometimes, there just isn’t enough talent, she said.

The team attended state with 20 cheerleaders and four alternates this year. Performing cheerleaders included Jordyn Price, Kendra Whaley, Kellie Pollock, Carii Syfert, Desiree McCormick, Breanna Froemke, Taylor Thorpe, Mariah Morneault, Courtney Sanders, Kaelee Almy, Kalyn Hagle, Veronica Szuch, Christina Jenkins, Selena Rowe, Autumn Martin, Sabria Branton, Sammy McMahand, Natalie Thorpe, Caitlyn Spencer and Alex Olin. Alternates were Adriana Perez, Emma Fitzsimons, Peyton Plebuch and Randi Rockstead.

“We had a wonderful season,” Rosa said. The team was undefeated in five competitions this season. One of the tech judges complimented the team, noting it was Sweet Home’s best performance ever at state.

The team will perform its state routine at the boys basketball game Thursday night. The game is schedule to begin at 7:15 p.m.