By Georgia Thelen
The 2016-2017 LO Varsity Competitive Cheer team is currently working hard to get back to state finals.
With 26 members, the team is made up of all four grade levels. There are five senior Captains this season: Olivia Duffy, Jordan Gould, Sydney Johnson, Kiara Martin and Nyla Watt.
The senior class has been the core of the team the past few years and coach Niki Hills says she looks forward to what they will bring to the mat this year.
“This team will be exciting to watch compete through out the year because they are great performers,” said Hills. “They work hard in practice and really go out and put on a show when they need to.”
There are two seniors competing in their fourth year, captains Olivia Duffy and Sydney Johnson.
There are also three juniors competing for their third year, Makayla Smirnow, Brooklyn Smart and Chloe Carpenter.
“It’s great to have a good mix of each class and it’s been a team effort to get the rounds competition ready for our first time on the floor,” said Hills.
The team spent the last year rebuilding their team and working diligently to make it to the 2016 state finals.
The team made it to finals and placed sixth in the state. This year the team hopes to return to the Delta Plex in Grand Rapids for state finals in March.
They are working hard towards reaching their goal of placing in the top four.
“Placing in the top three is a goal that no Lake Orion cheer team has reached and would be a huge accomplishment for the team,” said Hills.
Varsity Cheer finished in second place on Dec. 10 at the CCCAM Scholarship Invitational, their first competition of the season.
The girls earned 227.8 points in the first round, 218.78 points in the second round and 312.70 in the third round.
Finishing with 759 points, the Dragons came in second just behind competitor Grandville High School.
The LO Varsity Competitive Cheer team has three home competitions for the 2016-2017 season: the Lake Orion Cheer Invitational on Jan. 28, the OAA League Championship on Feb. 4 and the MHSAA District Championship on Feb. 18.
By Georgia Thelen