by Samantha Lefebvre
Coon Rapids High School cheerleaders organized their first ever competitive cheer competition at the Coon Rapids Fieldhouse Jan. 21.
The event took three months to plan, meeting twice a week.
“I think it went great,” Cardinals cheer coach Jaclyn Schuldt said. “We had a lot of teams here, a lot of kids. It was a lot of fun.”
The Cardinal Cheer Classic Competition was host to seven schools, which included both middle school and high school squads. Schools as far from Buffalo and the Plainview-Elgin-Millville district attended.
Minnesota’s first adaptive performance cheer team, the Rochester Shining Stars, also made the long drive up to perform in the competition. The Shining Stars were established seven years ago and have a roster comprised of 12- to 38-year-olds from the Rochester area.
The Shining Stars took away the Best Performance award of the competition.
The Cardinals decided to not compete in the competition and instead put more focus on their role as host. The middle school squad, the high school sideline squad and the varsity competition squad still did perform at the end of the event.
The competitive cheer squad has placed in the top three of all nine invites and competitions they have been to so far this season. The Cardinals have gone home with first place finishes in six to nine competitions. They even won the Grand Champion award at the Winter Classic in White Bear Lake. The Grand Champion award goes to the team with the highest points overall in the entire competition.
The outstanding number of first place finishes is a school record for the Cardinals cheer squad.
“I think we are doing exceptional,” Schuldt said. “To take first place that many times in a row is a record, for every year cheerleading has ever been here that is a record.”
The Cardinals plan on hosting the event again next year due to the successful turnout of this competition.
“Next year should be a breeze,” said Schuldt, who is in her second year as the competitive cheer coach as well as coach for the other high school level cheer squads.
Both the Cardinal sideline and competitive squads began its season in August and continues through March.
Due to the competitive squads success this season, by scoring over 70-100 points at Regionals, they won a bid to the 2012 UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Fla. They leave for Florida Feb. 9 to perform a 2:30 minute routine and will return on Feb.15.
“We have been preparing for the last couple months,” Schuldt said. “We have been having lots of practices to up the routine and make it harder.”
In addition to practicing, the squad has also been raising money for the trip and competition. So far they have raised around $20,000 by going door-to-door, fund raising, and receiving donations from local businesses.
The UCA National Championship is nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN2.