Blackout Cheerleading Invitational

Katie Wertheimer

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LAWTON, MICHIGAN- Saturday, December 1, the Lake Michigan Catholic competitive cheer team competed for the first time this season in something called a blackout. This means the teams’ names are not announced and they wear the same outfits to prevent favoritism in the judging process in a creative way.

They placed second in their division and had the highest overall round one score out of all 13 teams and they are even currently ranked first in the state for their round one score

They scored a very impressive score of 207.3 for their execution and have a reputation to have unique performances. This year in particular, they have a more complex round with a faster pace and more difficult motions than they have had in previous years, according to head coach, Josh Fairbanks.

“That was the best round  we gave put out on the mat at any point. It was easily the best round 1 we have ever opened the season with. It showed that buying into the team and our goals and working for them will pay off for this squad. ”
In the Lady Laker’s round 2, they had a few more issues. Two cheerleaders, Mariah Sirk and Chloe Simmons, hit legs in their back walkovers.

Although they did not receive a deduction for the incident because it was not considered an unsafe contact with a teammate, it was a close call that could have cost the team some valuable points. They also suffered from some off-timing, wobbly heel stretches (where one lifts and holds one leg),  one girl even fell out of her middle splits.

The tiny team of six people, and only five people who competed, also received a ten point deduction from their round two score because they did not have the minimum amount of 6 people for their second round. They gained a final score of 168, a rather high score for the Lakers, even with the mistakes and automatic penalty.

At this particular competition, the Lakers previously decided that they would not compete in the third round of competition due to the fact that this meet was earlier than normal, but once they arrived, the coaches and cheerleaders agreed to attempt their first two stunts of the round in order to gain some potential points.

The Lady Lakers have always been known to be gifted stunters. One stunt, their 360 ground up, where the flyer makes a full rotation from the floor to an extension, has gained some warranted attention from multiple cheer organization for its originality.

Although they were unable to hit that stunt in the competition, they did complete the remainder of their performance very smoothly, considering the last minute changes made.

After their three rounds of performance, they waited for the results to be announced. After it was revealed that they placed second, Junior, Ashley Herrera, said that her team was excited and grateful to do so well with their first competition of the year.

“Although it was disappointing not hitting the ground up 360, I was very proud of my team and myself for doing as well as we did. With this early competition, I was nervous to compete, but the fact that we did so well restores my faith that we can have a great and successful season. ”
It appears that LMC’s competitive cheer team has a bright season ahead. With hard work, a district title appears to be within their grasp.

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Blackout Cheerleading Invitational