Team looks forward after first two competitions

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Members of the Estacada High School cheerleading squad competed at the Lake Oswego Rumble Invitational Saturday, Dec. 15.The next several weeks are going to be very busy for the Estacada High School varsity cheerleading squad, with several competitions coming up. But a pair of early events have allowed the team to hone its approach in anticipation of future successes.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, the team was scheduled to compete at the Sunset Kickoff Invitational in Portland. The team's involvement was canceled at the last minute, but it was still able to participate in the Lake Oswego Rumble Invitational.

Estacada placed second in its division, finishing less than one point behind North Marion, a team that has placed first at state competition for the past seven years.

Coach Abi Gango said that competition proved invaluable for the team, as it was able to get input on the areas in which it needed to step it up.

“The first two competitions are really just about getting the judges' feedback and refining our routine,” she said. “It's more helpful than anything.”

An upside is that Estacada's score was higher than it had ever been before, something that Gango finds encouraging.

The Dream Challenge at Sherwood High School was next, and took place Saturday, Jan. 5. Estacada again came in second behind Marion, this time by four points.

“We were really neck and neck with them,” Gango said. “We went up in points from the last time we competed, and that's all that matters.”

Estacada's next competition will be the Pacer Invitational at Lake Oswego's Lakeridge High School on Saturday, Jan. 12. Gango said the squad is utilizing the feedback it got from the judges at its first two competitions in preparation for the rest of its upcoming events. The team will work on its stunting and tumbling from now until then.

“I'm hoping to get into the top three,” Gango said. “The girls want to get first. I think I'd be ecstatic with second, and just as ecstatic with third.”

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