2019 competition season a good year for cheer

Meghan Keith

The cheerleaders at our school not only cheer for sports, but they also perform high energy routines at competitions against other cheer teams in the area.
This year the cheer team competed in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Cheerleading Invitational against seven other cheer teams, and the Wake County Cheerleading Competition against four teams.
Teams were evaluated on a wide range of skills including execution of the routine, creativity, timing in stunting, tumbling, jumps, pyramid, dance and overall impressions of the judges.
At the NCHSAA event the team placed third. While third is a good placement, coach Robbin Faulkner knew there was room for improvements.
“We needed to clean up our technique and execution and increase our difficulty level in our stunts,” Faulkner said.
After perfecting their routine, and fixing mistakes made at NCHSAA, the team performed in the Wake County Cheerleading Competition. Faulkner saw improvement in the routine and was proud of the result.
“They did an awesome job. We lost three people due to injury and illness between two competitions, and this team really exemplified our “Big Team Little Me” philosophy,” Faulkner said. “Some were moved several times and asked to do fill in different positions, and they all pulled together and put a great routine on the floor.”
Senior Carmen Haywood has been on varsity since she was a freshman, and she was thrilled with the placement.
“I’m proud that we got third place this year because that’s never really happened,” Haywood said. “The four years that I’ve been on varsity we’ve never really placed in a way where we have gotten a trophy, so with it being my senior year, and with us placing and getting a trophy it was really memorable.”
Fellow senior Maddie Sargent feels the team’s performance was good as well, giving consideration to the injured team members and challenging routine.
“I think we tried our best, and we did pretty good for what we performed,” Sargent said.
Performing in competitions is never an easy task. There are many different areas that one must perfect in order to have a chance to win. Those areas include but are not limited to performance and energy.
Ironically enough, considering cheerleading is a sport where you compete, Faulkner feels competing is not important.
“I actually am not a fan of competing because of the subjective scoring system. Even with a rubric and a score sheet, you are the mercy of a judge who just may not like your routine, but it does give the team a daily practice goal to work towards. Without that routine to work on, practice can become mundane, and there isn’t the drive to improve skills and get better,” Faulkner said.
Faulkner, regardless of placing and subjective scoring, is always proud of the work ethic and perseverance of the athletes.
“On a score sheet we excelled in tumbling as a team. Something that can’t be measured is heart. This team never acted defeated even in the face of having to rework the routine just days before the competition,” Faulkner said.
Overall, Faulkner, Sargent and Haywood are content with the results of this year’s team.
Faulkner said, “I feel we did much better than we placed. I feel that our third place at States was as ‘fair’ as it could be. I definitely feel we should have placed at Wake County. I think the team should be proud of what they put on the floor. We as coaches were very proud of them.”