Cheerleading Places 5th in State

Annie Sadler

The competition cheering squad
gave the school something to cheer
about, advancing to States for the first
time in the past eight years. After finishing
second at the Conference 20
competition and third in the Group 4A
South competition, the team went on
to capture fifth place in the 4A State
tournament.
Cheering is scored on a variety of
different components, ranging from
projection, choreography, stunts and
dance to tumbling, motions and more.
“Our strongest [areas] were definitely
our stunting and our dance,”
senior Jaqui Arechiga said.
Hanover cheered with 32 different
teams at the state competition, eight of
which they contended with for the 4A
championship title. In the end, they
fell a mere three points behind the
fourth place team, James Wood. With
a possibility of earning 300 points, 100
points per judge, Hanover finished
with 240 points.
The squad has been perfecting their
routine since August after they had a
choreographer come in. Practice was
held 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every weekday in
August and until 6 p.m. after school.
The long hours spent working on
their piece gave the team time to bond
and become a family, an aspect that is
crucial for the competitions.
“The best part is prior to competing
because everyone knows that we
need to come together and be one as a
team,” Arechiga said, “Going out and
competing and nailing it makes all the
frustration and long practices worthwhile.”
Unlike competitors in any other
sporting event, the competition cheerleaders
did not have the opportunity
to attend numerous contests throughout
the season. Their “game days”
were pep rallies and one exhibition
at Henrico High School. After that,
they went straight into championship
season, with minimal exposure to the
competition light.
“It’s really emotionally and physically
draining. You’re with the same
girls all the time. It’s one of those
sports where there’s no second string,
once you’re in, you’re in,” Arechiga
said.
All the work the Hawks put in
since August, leading up until the State
championship November 9, paid off.
“I love cheering, every season. This
season we fought really hard but came
out fifth. Throughout it all we’re not
just a team, we’re a family,” junior
Sydney Martin said.
A contributing factor the success
the Hawks experienced in championship
season was the talent of all squad
members, especially the freshmen.
“The season started off really well.
We had a lot of freshmen come in that
were experienced and they started off
strong. Then all the basic stuff came in,
choreography built up and we started
realizing ‘Oh my gosh we could go to
states,’” senior Devin Ryan said.
With the team being senior heavy.
there is no telling what could happen
next year, but the hope is for the future
girls to carry on the success.
“It’s weird [to be leaving] because
I’m so used to coming every August
for tryouts and practice, August next
year I’ll be in college. Things change
for seniors but it’s a good change,”
Ryan said.

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