Go – fight – win (a state championship)!
Appeal Staff Writer
Entering the inaugural Silver State Spirit Competition at Carson High School on Saturday, members of the Carson High All-Girls Stunt squad were confident in their chances to walk away state champions.
They had spent the last month and a half working three hours a day, six days a week on their routine. They wanted to be the best; they wanted to be state champions.
They watched as their team members competed in the Show Cheer category and squads from all corners of the state hit the mat, gunning for the first time to be called the best in the Nevada.
But Carson had a problem. One member of the squad had a bout of the flu, and her condition got worse as the day went on. As their competition time approached, the girls were forced to change stunts.
“We took five minutes and regroup and put the girls in stunts they hadn’t done. No stunt hit the ground so that was good,” head coach Trish Stephenson said.
After their performance, the girls’ confidence was shaken, and they wondered if maybe it was not to be this year.
Dianne Williams watched from the stands as her daughter Erica took the mat for their routine.
“I thought they blew it. I didn’t know how well they would do,” Williams said.
But at the end of the day, the judges had a different opinion and named the team as the 4A State Champions.
“It’s so awesome; it’s just indescribable. Doing three-hour practices and then staying another hour to make sure we had it. This is just awesome,” sophomore Brittany Bacon said.
“This is just incredible. We worked so hard for so long to get this,” freshman Erica Williams said.
But the girls agreed that they couldn’t have done it without their coach.
Stephenson said, “These girls put in an incredible amount of time to do this, and they’ve earned it.”
Forty-three schools came to Carson City to compete in the inaugural tournament that, according to tournament director Terrie McNutt, was a long time coming.
“This has been in the planning stages for five years. The coaches’ association has become very active, and they are all very anxious to see it happen,” McNutt said. “This is a very exciting year for Nevada and for the squads. You can tell they are excited to be here.”
Teams could compete in four categories – show, performance, coed and all-girl stunt – or three categories of dance – hip-hop, jazz and pom. Trophies were awarded to first- and second-place winners.
Several other area schools had notable finishes, including a second place in 3A Pom for Yerington High School, a second place in 4A Coed for South Lake Tahoe High School and a 1A State Title in Hip Hop for Virginia City.
“It’s exciting, very exciting. We had a lot of fun, and we knew we put our heart into the performance,” junior Melanie Lambert said.
Head coach Tracey Hudson said becoming champions gives the girls the long-sought recognition they have earned.
“We’ve been state champions in basketball many times, and now we can add a spirit trophy to the case,” Hudson said. “This is so great for the girls. They have worked so hard, and they finally got the validation they deserve.”
Stephenson said that she is glad the tournament the coaches have wanted for so long as finally become a reality.
“It is just a dream come true. We have been working for this for 10 years, and it has finally come,” Stephenson said. “The girls are finally recognized as athletes and have a legitimate championship.”
In the Show Cheer category, considered the standard because it involves cheering, dancing and lifting, Galena took home the first state title, with Spanish Springs finishing second.
— Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.
Inaugural Silver State Spirit Championship results
First place: Galena High School
Second place: Spanish Springs High School
First place: Carson High School
Second place: Mojave High School
First place: Sierra Vista High School
Second place: Valley High School
First place: Spring Valley
Second place: South Lake Tahoe
First place: Foothill High School
Second place: Cimarron-Memorial High School
First place: Mojave High School
Second place: Sierra Vista High School
First place: Galena
Second place: White Pine High School
First place: Boulder City High School
Second place: Virgin Valley High School
First place: Pahrump High School
Second place: Virgin Valley
First place: Moapa Valley High School
Second place: Boulder City High School
First place: Faith Lutheran High School
Second place: Yerington High School
First place: White Pine
First place: The Meadows High School
First place: The Meadows High School
First place: Battle Mountain High School
First place: Mountain View Christian High School
Second place: Lake Mead High School
First place: Virginia City High School