Lakeridge and Lake Oswego high schools qualify for the big contest

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: CHRISTINE COOPER - Lakeridge High School cheer team members perform a few big stunts at the Portland International Airport on the way to the USA competition.Lakeridge and Lake Oswego high schools shared their school spirit with the nation.

The local high schools’ cheer teams headed down to the United Spirit Association’s national competition earlier this month in Anaheim, Calif., two of just 14 teams from Oregon, California, Arizona and Nevada to qualify.

Lakeridge placed sixth and Lake Oswego took eighth in the cheer contest.

The top seven teams, including Lakeridge, got a trophy.

Lakeridge head coach Christine Cooper said it felt wonderful to have the team do so well.

“They had the determination and fire to compete and win,” Cooper said. “They worked hard all year with practice, tumbling and conditioning. They were the most coachable team I’ve ever had.”

Lakeridge had a personal best, just 0.25 points away from fifth place, and the goal is to make the finals next year.

“The girls had their best performance of the season, even with it being an 8 a.m. mat time,” Cooper said.

Mattie Bock, Lake Oswego cheer team assistant coach, said her team was full of vim and SUBMITTED PHOTO: TERRY SHEIK - Lake Oswego High School cheerleaders pose for a team picture.

“We were very excited, being that it was such a new squad and a young team, giving them the exposure and experience on a national level was a great opportunity,” Bock said.

Teams got into nationals by submitting a video and scoring at least 75 out of 100. The Lakeridge team attended USA Nationals in 2009 and 2012, said Cooper, who has been head coach since 2001.

“We look forward to an even more successful season next year, as we have only one graduating senior,” she said.

Lakeridge also snagged fourth at the Oregon School Activities Association competition last month, and Lake Oswego got 11th.

The head coach of Lake Oswego’s cheer team, Terrie Sheik, has taken three teams to nationals and won state in 2008.

“We would love the chance to go to nationals again,” Bock said.

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