Four local cheerleading teams qualify for state competition

Providing an opportunity to compete at a high level for fun is something Chippewa, Dalton, Hiland and Orrville have all benefited from over the years.

Sunday, they all punched their tickets to the state competition at the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators regional competition at Perry High School.

The Chipps will make their third trip to state, with their next trip in 2020 and then in 2017. At that time, Chippewa sent a fan to the college for STUNT every year since 2019. This year they will compete with their sport. regular days, not sales, as they look to put the cherry on top of their season.

“It’s scary for the girls,” said Chipps coach Michelle Ries. “It’s great to see this kind of success after all the planning, hard work and effort every day to achieve this goal and then get this reward, after all. that loyalty.

Led by seniors Ricki Reed, Robin Jolley and Kaidy Funk, Chippewa turned Perry High School into its own sports day organized by flying in a state routine.

“To be able to enjoy that experience of all the buildings we did,” said Ries. “From the technique, to the plan, to learning about that place of entertainment and what it takes to get the position to be one of the best.

As for sending girls to college for STUNT over the years:

“It’s nice to know and it inspires the competitive nature in these girls,” said Ries. “We can help point you in the right direction, help you get ready and play college sports which is important. Everyone needs to have that opportunity and support.”

Now his team of 15 fans will look to Sunday, March 5 as their big event. With the state at Big Walnut High School, the Chipps will continue to put everything together and look to finish big. From the Friday night lights to the stage at the Big Walnut, Ries talked about how the girls practiced during soccer games to expand their ability to play their roles. . Now it’s about integrating those personal practices and continuing to improve, taking feedback from them and trying to improve.

“It’s nice to get there and know that you deserved it after all that hard work,” Ries said. “We know it’s better than last year, we fixed some of the problems we got feedback on and it’s great to see these girls succeeding, they seriously, all these girls invest, they all last. and the desire to know what they can do to be better.

The Bulldogs punched their second state ticket in the Div. V for their game day build-up and STUNT, and their last trip came in 2020. For Dalton it’s been a whirlwind since coach Don Stoll took over at the start of the 2022 and introduce the team to STUNT for the first time. They attended a camp at Ashland University and then were advised that they needed to strengthen their habits and attend a second camp to improve their skills.

“It’s very special,” Stoll said. “STUNT just started back in June, it’s very new and after the second camp, our STUNT skills really increased.”

Led by seniors Sophia Salehi, Rachel Vance, Jenna Fink, Sarah Cross, Sophia Carpenter, Skylar McConnell, Jordan Peters and captains Abbie Bockey and Paige Tomlinson, the Bulldogs did not back down as they attacked their routine. The team of 17 performers, two freshmen and a mix of experience, came together in the months since June.

Then they heard their name called at Perry High School and a cheer began.

“I can’t express how strong these girls are,” Stoll said. “STUNT is not easy and they look simple, for those who call their names today, it is a very good feeling and this is very special.”

For Stoll, it was his ninth trip to state and his fourth as a team leader, but it was one that touched home even more.

“It was an amazing mix of young women, and they all had the goal of what we did today,” he said. “These three seniors are teachers of their time and today what they have achieved is amazing, we never thought we would get this far, and this is very important for us seniors and the ‘ whole team.”

Stoll also talked about community support.

“The Dalton community is the best,” Stoll said. “The way they responded to us, rallied for us, it was amazing.”

Now the Bulldogs will be watching on March 4, when they compete at Big Walnut High School for state.

The Red Riders are out of state for the third time in four years, including back-to-back years. Orrville first punched his ticket in 2020 and then 2022 under Stoll. This year, first year coaches Kelly Walker and Danielle Dalessandro stepped up and the program never missed a beat. But, under the leadership of Walker, who is the varsity coach and Dalessandro, the junior varsity coach, the draft program may have been better because it qualified for the first time in the history of program in two parts. They will compete on March 5th at Big Walnut High School in Div. IV traditional competition with a team of nine girls not STUNT and Div. Sports IV day is not STUNT team of 14 girls.

“We’re very excited,” Walker said. “We keep our expectations high because we know they can do it; we know we’ve had a solid base for a long time; we want them to be happy, practice the game day routine and we’ll get there at state, we’re over the moon when both teams qualified.”

Last year, the team was led by lone senior Caitlyn Race, and this year’s team is no exception as it is led by lone senior Caitlyn Race. Molly Moomaw, is on two teams.

“A lot of the girls are returning from last year’s state team, so that’s a key group,” he said. said Walker. “They all did the job and far exceeded our expectations.”

“We had a lot of support from our AD and the athletic department, they were amazing in supporting the sport and it made the girls feel like they could achieve a lot,” he said. said Walker. “They were very adaptable to change; they took it from us and rolled with it and I think that’s how we got to this point.”

As for nerves in the district games, Walker doesn’t think that’s a problem because with most of the roster returning, they know how things work. For the first year or new members, the seniors were there to offer reassuring words and keep them focused on the prize.

“The vibe was more excitement than nerves,” smiled Walker. “It was nice and nice to see.”

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