After a recent turnover of the coaching staff and a roster of relatively new girls, it would be easy for the North Marion cheer team to set their eyes on a modest goal this season.
But these girls are dreaming big.
This year we sat down as a team and honestly discussed our talent level and goals for the season, said Ashley Wall, assistant coach for the Huskies. We looked at our current skill level and compared that to what we would need to be very competitive with other teams.
After letting the 11 members of the team discuss among themselves, the girls chose to work toward being state champions this year.
Their goal is not as unattainable as it may seem for the cheerleaders, seven of which are new to the program.
Last year, Wall and coach Sadie Johnston took a group of inexperienced girls to the brink of a state title, finishing second overall.
The finish broke a streak of six consecutive state titles for the Husky cheer program, but it was a step in the right direction for this new squad.
We are striving to continue that tradition as a new coaching staff, with a basically brand new group of girls, said Wall. This year, four girls return from last years runner-up to pair with seven new members of the team. It has all been brand new to most of the girls and they are doing fantastic.
The team has been competing since January and has placed second in each of their past two competitions.
Most recently, the Huskies traveled to Jesuit High School Saturday where they placed second to Ridgeview, which led all 4A teams with 56.3 points. North Marion was just behind with 46 points.
Wall said the team has been performing well over the past month despite weathering through injuries that have kept the team from competing at full strength.
At the teams third competition at Lakeridge on Jan. 18, Wall and Johnston had to re-work several stunts on the fly to accommodate an injured player.
Jasmin Correa stepped up and was able to help her team out in a huge way, said Wall. She learned all the changes in record time so we were able to still perform with all of our stunts.
As the team progresses through the season, the coaches continue to fold in additional nuances to the teams routine, adding layers of difficulty to their routine.
With just two events remaining before the state competition on Feb. 15, the girls have plenty of time to continue improving each day.
If that happens, then I feel that our team goal is not unattainable, said Wall. My goal for them at the state competition is to perform their routine the best they have ever performed it.
The North Marion cheer teams next competition is Saturday at Clackamas High School.
Previous scores from the 2014 cheer season
Jan. 25 at Jesuit High School
Ridgeview - 56.30
North Marion - 46.00
Estacada - 41.50
Yamhill-Carlton - 36.30
Jan. 18 at Lakeridge High School
La Salle Prep - 48.67
North Marion - 47.83
Taft - 36.50
Estacada - 34.00
Jan. 11 at Lake Oswego High School
Klamath Union - 60.17
La Salle Prep - 54.83
North Marion - 54.17
Yamhill-Carlton - 34.50