The 2023 OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union Cheerleading State Championships are Saturday at Oregon City High School, and every team is feeling the “state week” nerves.
Coaches are hoping they have done everything possible to prepare their athletes for the challenge, and athletes are having dreams of holding that blue trophy after the results are announced.
As the pre-state competitions concluded, some teams continued to hold the top spot, but some new contenders also revealed themselves. However, the state championships will be the first time all of the teams will face each other.
Saturday’s competition will begin at 9:00 a.m. with two hotly contested divisions: 4A and 5A.
In the 4A division, Sweet Home will arrive undefeated, but Gladstone’s energetic routine cannot be ignored. Newport, North Bend and The Dalles have also shown that they are coming to compete.
In the 5A division, last year’s champion, Lebanon, also arrives undefeated. However, South Albany and Ridgeview are putting in the work to dethrone the champions. It will also be exciting to see Caldera take the state mat for the first time in that new school’s history, and keep your eye out for Crescent Valley, Putnam and West Albany.
The second session will consist of the 3A/2A/1A division as well as the new Game Day divisions. Rainier and Santiam Christian duked it out for the top spot throughout the pre-state season, and the state championships will be no different; these two programs are guaranteed to bring their best to the mat. Delphian, Yamhill-Carlton and Central Linn are also likely trophy contenders.
The Game Day divisions are difficult to predict since many of the teams that go head to head on Saturday have never competed against each other this season. However, strong performances are expected from Thurston, Central, Tigard, Mountain View, Scio and Westside Christian to name a few. It will be exciting to see who takes home the trophies from these debut divisions.
The final session of the day will host Co-ed, 6A Large and the largest division, 6A Small. These three divisions have former champions battling it out with each other, and every team walking away with a trophy will be well-deserved.
In the Co-ed division, McMinnville and undefeated Tualatin have been battling all season. Their high-energy routines are something to look forward to, and the cleanest routine should take home the championship. Other Co-ed teams to watch for include Redmond, Crater, Oregon City and Summit.
Undefeated Westview is hoping for that top spot in 6A Large, but Aloha is pushing hard and giving them a run for their money. Another team to keep a close eye on in this division will be West Linn.
The 6A Small division is jam-packed with teams, but undefeated Newberg has the high difficulty and high energy routine that could win it all. However, Lake Oswego, Barlow, Lakeridge and David Douglas have held that top spot at other pre-state competitions, and they have plans to take it again. Other teams working hard to get noticed include Mountainside, Nelson, Roseburg, and Sherwood.
All Oregon teams have worked extremely hard to take the mat at the state championships, and they have persevered through many challenges including injury, sickness, lack of practice space and coach/athlete turnover.
Whatever the struggle, whatever the division and classification, Oregon cheerleading teams are unified and understand the hard work, determination and perseverance necessary to compete at the OSAA championships. Any struggle has made these teams stronger, and the judges and crowd are sure to see that strength on Saturday.