Coronado cheerleaders now among elite in state
Coronado High's cheerleaders rose to their highest finish ever at the state championship last weekend, taking fourth place.
The Cougar spirit squad was among 44 teams competing at state this year. The girls made the final 8, and then were judged fourth of that group in the last round of judging.
Earlier in the year, Coronado had won the Metro League for the first time since 2006. Also, Coronado team member Grace Shea was named to the Spirit All-State Team.
Cheyenne Mountain was the winner at state.
Coronado coach Jamie Brown, a former high school cheerleader, praised her 16-member team for their “commitment, dedication and heart.” This was especially exemplified by their willingness to come to the gym every schoolday morning at 6 a.m. to practice for an hour and 15 minutes.
Not only is that when the gym's available, the early hour is really the only time they could all get together, Brown pointed out. After school, the girls tend to go different directions because of pursuits such as jobs, extracurricular activities or homework.
Some team members are participating in sports, including track, diving and softball. Others are in band, orchestra and choir. “The kids really have to juggle while keeping up their grades,” said Brown, who holds another job herself (as an engineering consultant). “I can't believe how much they can do.”
The team's showing at state follows the sixth-place performance of last year's squad (which at the time was Coronado's best-ever placing). Brown believes the continuing improvement reflects greater emphasis on tumbling training and also the increasing presence of “athletic girls” who can take on more difficult stunts.
Judging is based on difficulty, execution and number of errors, she explained.
Cheerleader tryouts are held in April of the previous school year, with practice for the new team starting in May. The squad also practices three days a week during summer, the coach said.
Not all the cheerleaders' efforts are geared to competitions. Brown emphasized that the girls' “main goal” is still to be the spirit squad for basketball, football, volleyball and other school teams.
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