Although they didn’t bring home a trophy from the OSAA 3A/2A/1A Cheerleading State Championships, held Feb. 16 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Creswell High School’s 2019 competition cheer team overcame adversity to perform well at state.
”We were down two girls and competed with eight members due to injuries, and because of that we had to make some modifications to the routine; so, instead of two stunt groups, we decided to focus on one group to showcase our advanced stunts,” said Creswell Head Coach Christine Bandey.
Teams were scored in three categories: Building Skills, Tumbling/Jumps and Overall Routine. Each team’s routine consisted of cheer, tumbling, stunt and dance segments, set to 90 seconds of music.
Creswell received judges’ scores of 35.30 in Building Skills, 41.50 in Tumbling/Jumps and 37.00 in Overall Routine, for a total of 113.80. After a one-point penalty deduction the team finished with 112.80 points.
”The first part of our pyramid stunt sequence – a tuck flip that transitioned into a liberty hitch – went up well and the cheer was off to a great start; but somehow, we got off on counts during our tumbling section, which threw off our jumps,” Bandey said. ”However, they finished super-strong and came off the mat extremely happy with their performance.”
Santiam Christian won the 3A/2A/1A state championship, with a total score of 170.70. Central Linn placed second with 162.10, Cascade Christian placed third with 161.90, Delphian placed fourth with 159.10 and Scio placed fifth with 153.40.
While her squad didn’t bring home the hardware this year, Bandey is pleased with their effort and enthusiasm.
”Overall, I am so proud of the entire team; considering our young team and only a few competitions under their belts (before state), they did awesome,” Bandey said. ”Their faces were beaming when they came off the mat and that made us coaches so proud. They were so happy for finishing their routine, and the excitement of the season ending had finally hit them.”
The team qualified for state by performing in three state-qualifying competitions during the regular season. Creswell placed third at Lebanon on Jan. 5, sixth at South Albany on Jan. 12 and eighth at Sheldon on Jan. 26.
Three seniors will graduate, but Bandey hopes the experience gained this year by younger team members will translate into greater on-the-mat success for next year’s squad.
”This season has definitely been tough; we have experienced a lot of blood, sweat and tears – but the obstacles have only made us stronger as a team and we felt the closest coming out of that performance area (at state),” Bandey said. ”Even though we didn’t place high in the competition, I think we all had fun and now have more experience to help us next year.”