DENVER — In the world of high school cheerleading, four athletes are used in a majority of all-girl stunt sequences while 12 athletes are required to perform any variation of a flipping pyramid.
Friday marked what is believed to be the first time in the history of CHSAA's State Spirit Championships that a team consisting of only two athletes took the mat. This rare occurrence was done by the Bayfield cheer squad under the instruction of coach Aimee Whitney during the preliminary round.
“I am so proud of them and it took a lot of courage for them to go out there and perform on their own,” said Whitney.
The two Bayfield cheerleaders partnered up to perform stunts such as the shoulder sit, cartwheel on thighs, and thigh stands. Although these skills lack difficulty, the Wolverines still managed to earn a top-10 finish out of the twenty teams that performed in Class 3A Cheer — with every other team having, at minimum, a full stunt group.
A standard cheer routine is split up into three sections: two music portions, and the cheer. The purpose of the cheer is to engage the crowd while using props such as signs, megaphones, and poms — all in hopes of getting a reaction from the crowd. With a team of two, one could imagine how hard it would be to make your voice be heard throughout the entire Denver Coliseum.
With the support of an injured teammate, proud parents, and the entire dance team, the Wolverines yelled with pride and proudly represented Bayfield High School.
From start to finish, the two competitors gave it their all. After stepping off the mat, captain Kaitlyn Gosey described the feeling as “satisfying, relieving, and fun.”
After previously being a part of the Bayfield dance team, the two made the transition to the cheer team. This was both of the competitors' first time competing at State as cheerleaders.
“They’re two great performers and it was just about representing Bayfield and not giving up on our season,” said Whitney.
At the start of the season, there were a total of 11 cheerleaders on the team. But through injuries, and other reasons, only four remain. (One of the four is injured, and another wasn't able to attend on Friday.)
Whitney has come to terms with how difficult it was losing over half of her team over the course of the year, but also recognizes their dedication and hard work.
The Bayfield cheer program is grateful for this year's experience at State but also has high hopes for the years to come.
“Hopefully we’ll have a much bigger team," Whitney said. "We're going to try and build our team back up again and hopefully compete in co-ed."
Finalists move on
Six divisions completed their preliminary rounds on Friday, advancing teams to Saturday night's finals. Saturday will also bring more preliminary rounds in the morning and afternoon. (Find a schedule here.)
- In 2A Cheer division, out of twenty teams that competed, Cheyenne Wells, Highland, Swink and Dove Creek will all be moving onto Day 2 of the State Championships. Cheyenne Wells holds the a strong lead with an overall score of 75.2. Highland (70.4) and Swink (69.4) trail by about 5 points. Dove Creek sits at 65.1 going into Saturday's championships.
- Scores are much tighter in the 3A Cheer division with Coal Ridge (73.1) holding a 0.4 point lead on Faith Christian who sits at 72.7. James Irwin Charter (71.7) and The Academy (70.4) are also in the running, and with these four teams' scores being this close, a lot can change with placings depending on Saturday's execution in routines.
- With only 12 teams competing in the 2A/3A coed division, only two teams have advanced to the final round. St. Mary’s currently holds the highest score in the 2A/3A division at 77.8. With almost a 10-point deficit, Strasburg trails with a score of 67.9.
- Six finalists advanced out of the 5A Cheer division, with Grandview (86.9) leading the way among Eaglecrest (86.5), Chaparral (84.2), Rock Canyon (82.9), Fossil Ridge (82.2) and Loveland (80.6).
- In 4A Cheer, there were four teams grouped closely at the top among the eight finalists. Wheat Ridge (79.9) holds a slight edge on Glenwood Springs (79.7), with Palmer Ridge (78.7) and Thompson Valley (78.2) close behind. Erie (75.3), Lewis-Palmer (74.9), Valor Christian (73.2) and Ponderosa (70.2) also advanced.
- The 4A/5A coed division also had eight finalists, with Castle View (83.5) and Mountain Vista (82.5) leading the group. Other finalists include Vista Ridge (79.3), Heritage (76.5), Skyline (76.2), Fruita Monument (75.7), Falcon (74.4) and Palisade (73.3).