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Rugby Was In It to Win It

By Staff | Nov 20, 2015

Rugby took first place in the Fall Cheer Competition. Pictured: Back Row - Ally Kleespie, Hannah Hoffert, Elizabeth Skjelver, Amber Schmaltz, Aimee York, Lilli French, Shelby Heisey, and Corina Bell. Front Row- Haylee Miron, Amanda Senger, Shailah Strand, Coach Ashley Stricker.

The Rugby Panther Cheerleading Squad showed its mettle in this year’s North Dakota Cheer Coach Association (NDCCA) Fall Cheer Competition with a first place team finish after placing second at last year’s event. The Panthers’ winning performance earned praise from cheerleading Head Coach Ashley Stricker.

“They did a really, really great job,” said Stricker. “They had a little hiccup in the routine because we had some changes to our team at the last minute. We had twelve members going into the competition and a week before we dropped down to eleven, so we had to rebuild our routine the week of, but they rose above it and the way the girls pulled together was pretty amazing. You can’t do any better than first place”

Coach Stricker continued, “They did some great things, we spend some much time together they are like sisters and it is almost like they can read each others minds and adapt to what is happening. It is amazing how well they worked together. “

Stanley came in second, who entered a group of JV and Varsity together totaling 27 girls. Rugby fielded a team of 11.

The awards kept coming. The Rugby Orange squad also took first place in Partner Stunt. Individually Hailey Miron, a sophomore, won all-around. Amanda Senger who is the lone senior on the Panthers’ squad was singled-out with the Stand-Out Senior award. And the whole Rugby squad was acknowledged for their Academic Achievement having a combined GPA of over 3.5.

Miron on being named the All-Around winner said, “I was surprised, happy and very shocked.” On her desire of continuing her cheerleading career she was emphatic, “Yes, I love cheering!”

Senger, who received the Senior Athlete Leadership award, said about that acknowledgement, “It means, to me, a lot. I love my teammates and the award recognizes that I’m a leader to these young girls and my hope next year they will be leaders to another group of girls who want to be cheerleaders.”

When asked how she felt about her team taking first place she said, “That was pretty good.” Then after a moment of reflection, a smile that only a cheerleader could manifest lit the room and she said, “It felt really good actually!”

While it is a competition, the event is also an opportunity for squads to show off their skills and learn from judges’ and coach’s comments to improve.

All judges for the NDCCA Cheerleading Competition come from various parts of the country with a background in cheerleading. The judges’ scores were based on a number of elements that must be part of the two-and-a-half minute performance Cheer teams will be judged in the following areas: Cheerleading basics: motion technique, jumps, dance, tumbling, stunts/pyramids. Projection: voice, expression, showmanship. Choreography of the routine: spacing/formation/transition/flow and overall crowd appeal. And perfection of routine: overall performance impression.

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