9th trip to state for SHS cheer teamThe Superior High School cheer team is headed back to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison for the ninth straight year, and nothing will keep the athletes from competing.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
The Superior High School cheer team is headed back to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison for the ninth straight year, and nothing will keep the athletes from competing.
Senior captain Carissa Carl showed up for Thursday’s practice with a medical ID bracelet still wrapped around her list.
“I had surgery done on my ear,” Carl said.
She was a bit woozy but had no plans to miss the state competition Saturday.
“I’m in,” she said. “I have a (doctor’s) note. It says I can compete.”
The Spartans are preparing to compete in the Wisconsin State Cheer Championships Saturday in both the cheer dance and stunting categories. Superior advanced by placing second in the cheer dance large division and third in the Division 1 medium stunting division.
“We always want to make sure we make it to state in both routines because we always have,” said Amy McCusker, in her second year as head coach of the Spartans.
Members of this year’s cheer team are: Bailley Biwer, Keeona Boykin, Carissa Carl, Elise Degerstrom, Samantha Doller, Logan Griffith, Ellen Hagberg, Rachael King, Alesha Kotter, Brittany Kucinski, Sara Magdzas, Shanya Miner, Andria Murphy, Kristina Princl, Bethany Roach, Jeff Troyer. Katie Latscher serves as the assistant coach, and Macey Huwaish is the team manager.
Eight team members return from last season, but the Spartans are still young. Sophomores make up the majority of the team. Superior has only four seniors, two juniors and one freshman this season — all the rest are sophomores.
Superior’s cheer dance routine is all about precision, sharp motions and synchronized movements. The stunting routine is heavier on tumbling and throws, and the addition of two boys to the team this year has given Superior new options in its routine.
“This is the first time ever, I think, that we’ve had boys on the team; so that’s exciting,” McCusker said. “Pretty much all college teams are co-ed. It will be exciting to next year hopefully get even more (boys) and keep growing our program and modernizing our program.”
Kotter, one of Superior’s senior captains, said she was surprised how easily the boys meshed with the rest of the team.
“It worked out a lot better than I thought it would the first year,” Kotter said. “I thought that if we ever got them it was going to be super challenging, but it wasn’t. They caught on really fast.”
Captains Carl and Hagberg also appreciated the addition of the boys.
“I think it makes it better,” Hagberg said. “We can do a lot more.”
Carl said the team has been able to do more single-base stunts with the boys. With only girls, four athletes are often needed to do lifts and throws. With the boys, stunts can be done with just one boy and one girl.
“It’s not like one thing in our routine is the big wow factor,” Kotter said. “It’s all the small pieces put together that makes the wow factor.”
McCusker said Superior’s cheer dance routine is more challenging this year, and the Spartans are hoping it will pay off at the state competition.
“We kind of put a little goal in our brains that we are hoping to place in cheer dance,” McCusker said. “In the past nine years we’ve placed in cheer dance one time, and we’re hoping that maybe this will be the year that we place again in cheer dance.”
Competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Alliant Energy Center. There will be a sendoff for the Spartan cheer team at 7:50 a.m. today in the SHS gym.