The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

Cheer team wins first ever state championship

On Feb. 10, the varsity cheer team had the top score in the state
On+Sept.+15%2C+2023%2C+the+cheer+team+performed+at+a+football+halftime+show.+The+cheer+team+won+the+6A+OSAA+Large+Traditional+State+Championship+on+Feb.+10.
Joseph Murphy
On Sept. 15, 2023, the cheer team performed at a football halftime show. The cheer team won the 6A OSAA Large Traditional State Championship on Feb. 10.

For the first time ever, the West Linn Cheer competition team won the 6A OSAA state title in large traditional cheer. During this competition, they also won the Grand Champs, meaning they received the highest score out of all divisionsnot just 6A.

Cheer competitions are judged based on three main categories: tumbling, stunting, and general performance. Points can also be deducted for things such as illegal skills, stepping on a sign, or making performance errors.

Hailey Stohler, senior, is a captain on the team and has been cheering with the varsity team for three years. 

“We have been competing all season and receiving feedback on our routine as well as seeing how we compare to the other teams in our division,” Stohler said. “Based on that, we knew that if we could ‘hit’ our routine, [which means] having zero deductions from errors in our routine, we would have a very high chance of winning. Once we accomplished that, we felt very good about the routine right after.” 

There are two categories that make up cheer competitions: gameday and traditional. West Linn competes in both, alongside doing sideline cheer for both football and basketball games. 

“We have been practicing as a team since August, almost every weekday for two to three hours. In total, we have spent around 400 hours perfecting our routine,” Stohler said. “Our routine was very challenging this year with lots of high level skills. Although we had each individual skill down, having to put it all together and train our endurance so we wouldn’t be exhausted by the end was something we spent a lot of time working on.” 

Alongside difficulty level, clean movements and routines are a large part of the scoring process.

“Our biggest strength this year was tumbling, which drove our score higher than others,” Stohler said. “We also focused on repetition to make sure our tumbling and stunting skills were clean, making our execution score high. Our strong desire to take first also made us very invested in our routine which helped our crowd leading score as well.”

Mia Harmon, junior, has been a competitive cheerleader since 5th grade and has been on the varsity cheer team for three years.

“In a cheer routine, there are so many skills being thrown,” Harmon said. “Whether that is stunts, tumbling, jumps, or something as simple as a motion. It can be really easy to get very caught up in the moment and rush it, which makes things a lot harder in reality because you look very rushed. That’s why it’s so important to take it one skill at a time. When I’m performing, I focus on the thing I am doing in the present.”

West Linn received a total of 110.8 points out of 120, which put them ahead of Aloha High School by over three points and ahead of Lakeridge High School by over six points.

“It felt like I was on top of the world,” Harmon said. “This has been a dream of mine since I started cheering in 3rd grade. To have that dream come true was the best feeling in the world. To hear the announcer call West Linn over the speakers was music to our ears.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to wlhsNOW
$50
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of West Linn High School. Your contribution will allow us to continue to produce quality content by purchasing equipment, software, and continuing to host our website on School Newspapers Online (SNO).

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Finn Howell
Finn Howell, Coverage Editor
Finn Howell, Junior, is the coverage editor and is passionate about making students feel seen and recognized. He spends much of his time outside of journalism practicing music, running, and climbing. He specifically enjoys playing clarinet and saxophone with the WLHS band. Howell’s favorite form of media production is photography, and you can follow his journey through media publications here on wlhsNOW as well as on his portfolio, jfinnhowell.wordpress.com.
Joseph Murphy
Joseph Murphy, Web Editor-in-Chief
In addition to being the Web Editor-in-Chief, Joseph Murphy, senior, also enjoys running with the cross country team. Journalism has proved to be Murphy’s main interest due to the fun he has writing about sports and photographing sports games. In the future, Murphy hopes to be a photojournalist for a professional sports team.
Donate to wlhsNOW
$50
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All wlhsNOW Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *