Estacada cheerleaders compete for first time ever
Competitive rally squad represents EHS at Clackamas, Lake Oswego, Oregon City this winter
Estacada High School's first-ever competitive cheer squad placed first once and second twice in three competitions this winter.
The first co-ed stunt group consisted of seniors Bobby Moore (back base) and Jessaca Sutherland (side base), and juniors Brianna Court (side base) and Brittanie Molzan (flyer).
The girls and boy practiced for more than two months, perfecting their professionally choreographed 45-second routine. Coach Jessica London added Gwen Stafani's 'Sweet Escape' to the program that was designed by Tara Mahoney, choreographer and owner of Thunder Elite in Clackamas.
Four days prior to the first competition, the team learned that one of its side base holders was inelligible to compete.
Court, who had been a front supporter, moved to the side and the glitch was taken care of. She learned the job in two practices, said London.
'These kids' spirit would not be broken down,' London said. 'They buckled down and practiced only twice with the new arrangement and won second place in our division.'
The squad placed second at its first competition, the Clackamas High School Cavalier Cheer Invitational.
London received the judges' feedback from the first competition and the team took that information to practice and prepared for the Jan. 19 Pacer Cheer Invitational at Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego.
The cheerleaders improved in one week. They gained 20 points and didn't lose any points to deductions (they had lost a half point the first week).
The third and final competition proved difficult. Not only was it the third competition in three weeks, but Estacada didn't take the mat until halfway through the day.
'There were 107 teams competing that day,' London said, 'and we were the 47th to go on the mat in the high school division. My squad had been there all day and was tired. The other times, we had been number seven and nine to go on the mat. Yet, they persevered and placed a solid second place.'
The cheer coach was excited about Estacada's first year competing. She already has plans for next year, which will include a junior varsity stunt team that will be coached by assistant coach Vicky Molzan.
'With such a great start, I honestly can't wait for next year,' London said.
'A million thank-yous to all of our sponsors.'