Prep competitive cheer: 3 area teams make preseason rankings

Prep competitive cheer: 3 area teams make preseason rankings

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Prep competitive cheer: 3 area teams make preseason rankings

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DIVISION 1

1. Rochester Hills Stoney Creek

2. Rochester

3. Southgate Anderson

4. Grandville

5. Hartland

6. East Kentwood

7. Lake Orion

8. Hudsonville

9. Sterling Heights Stevenson

10. Holland West Ottawa

DIVISION 2

1. Gibraltar Carlson

2. Dearborn Divine Child

3. Allen Park

4. Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills

5. DeWitt

6. Ortonville Brandon

7. Wyandotte Roosevelt

8. Byron Center

9. Grand Rapids Christian

10. Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg

DIVISION 3

1. Richmond

2. Comstock Park

3. Pontiac Notre Dame

4. Grosse Ile

5. Midland Bullock Creek

6. Paw Paw

7. Ovid-Elsie

8. Otsego

9. Holland Christian

10. Gladstone

DIVISION 4

1. Michigan Center

2. Pewamo-Westphalia

3. Hudson

4. Merrill

5. Munising

6. Hart

7. Gobles

8. Iron Mountain

9. Shelby

10. Manistique

ALMA

Last season: 6th in TVC

Coach: Laura McCarthy

Top returning cheerleaders: Briana Devine (sr.), Sydney McCarthy (jr.), Jasminerae Gilson (jr.), Amber Swisher (jr.)

Other contributors: Emily Colb (fr.), Shaylee Beetley (fr.), CiCi Bouchard (jr.), Anna Benitez (fr.), Maggie Bever (fr.), Emma Ceja (fr.), Gabby Ramon (fr.)

Outlook: The Panthers return only four members of last season’s squad. But they include senior Devine (first team all-league) and juniors McCarthy (all-league honorable mention), Gilson, and Swisher. Coach McCarthy is very optimistic however and sees a top-3 finish in the TVC and a top-4 district placing as realistic goals for her young team. Alma will compete in the Division 3 district at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Chesaning.

BATH

Coach: Jennifer Benson (2nd season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Kelsey Thome (sr.), Allison Contrearas (jr.)

Other contributors: Lauren Chaffee (jr.), Alix Erbskom (jr.)

Outlook: Second-year coach Benson looks to increase the skill level with her squad, which returns only one senior in Thome. The Bees will compete in the Division 4 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Webberville.

CHARLOTTE

Last season: 1st place in CAAC Gold

Coach: Yvonne Ridge and Lisa Love-Smith (9th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Kylie Cook (sr.), Erin Deitz (sr.), Haley Montgomery (jr.), Jordan Green (jr.), Mikeayla Pellegrino (jr.), Tia Emenhiser (jr.), Sierra Lipps (jr.)

Other contributors: Kelsey McDaniel (sr.), Shay Jones (sr.), Maddelyn Hull (fr.), Kaylee Brookes (fr.), Vanessa Predmore (fr.)

Outlook: The Orioles seek to build on the success of last season’s CAAC Gold championship team. Among those back are second team all-district selections Green and Cook and honorable mention pick Pellegrino. Coaches Ridge and Love-Smith feel the team will be strong in the required and compulsory but need to rise to the challenge of the open round. Charlotte will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

CORUNNA

Coach: Max Ward (1st season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Erica Taute (sr.), Corinna Wise (jr.), Anna Cummings (jr.)

Other contributors: Aimee Lee (fr.)

Outlook: First-year coach Ward sees this as a rebuilding season for the Cavaliers, who return only one senior and two juniors (including honorable mention all-district Cummings) with competitive cheerleading experience. Corunna will compete in the Division 3 district at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Chesaning.

DEWITT

Last season: 1st in CAAC Red

Coach: Candace Heskitt (5th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Alyssa Hoffman (sr.), Marissa Kinney (sr.), Rachel Rick (sr.), Brittney Gordon (jr.), Caroline Deak (so.), Katie Sweeney (so.), Alyssa Muller (sr.), Alyssa Reed (sr.), Ashley Summerton (sr.), Mackenzie Anderson (sr.)

Other contributors: Ashley Wilkinson (fr.), Liz Zunker (fr.)

Outlook: The Panthers return a deep, veteran squad that won the league, districts, regionals and placed sixth at the state finals last season. The team boasts six cheerleaders that were both all-district and all-region (Hoffman, Rick, Kinney, Gordon, Sweeney and Deak) and features a good mix of upper and lower classmen. DeWitt will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

EATON RAPIDS

Coach: Deborah Caves (2nd season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Jennifer Pratt (sr.), Lacey Rouse (jr.), Delany Morris (jr.), Emily Olin (so.)

Outlook: Pratt, Rouse, Morris and Olin were academic-all-league selections last season. The Greyhounds will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

FOWLERVILLE

Coach: Kate Barron (1st season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Makena Barron (jr.), Alina Bennett (so.), Ashley Cottongim (so.)

Other contributor: Tanisha Warner (so.)

Outlook: The Gladiators don’t have a senior on their squad but first-year coach Barron is optimistic about her young team’s prospects. Junior Makena Barron and sophomore Alina Bennett will serve as co-captains. Fowlerville will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

GRAND LEDGE

Last season: 4th in CAAC White

Coach: Sue Horak (2nd season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Erica Wilson (sr.), Hannah Wilson (sr.), Morgan Stevens (sr.), Brittney Brown (jr.)

Other contributors: Alexis Seibold (fr.)

Outlook: The Comets field a small squad but return several key members in all-district senior Stevens and all-league honorable mention junior Brown. Coach Horak feels this is a rebuilding year for her team but is optimistic. Grand Ledge will compete in the Division 1 district at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, at Hartland.

HASLETT

Coach: Brandy Bannan (1st season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Presley Chamberlain (jr.), Mecquella Bannan (so.), Caitlin Stornant (sr.), Allysa Kach (so.)

Outlook: First year coach Bannan takes over a relatively young squad with only one returning senior in Stornant and a thirrd-year junior in Chamberlain. The Vikings will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

LAKEWOOD

Last season: 1st in CAAC White (7-2)

Coach: Kim Martin (19th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Chelsea Chase (sr.), Brooke Van Valkenburg (sr.), Megan Cronk (sr.), Aly Spitzley (sr.), Megan Hokanson (sr.), Amelia Kruger (sr.), Destiny Polk (sr.), Jenna Baron (sr.), Bri Horstman (jr.), Kaysie Walsh (jr.)

Other contributors: Kelly McMillan (sr.), Tessa Hergenrader (jr.), Kiersten Christianson (so.), Emily Taylor (so.), Carley Bennett (fr.), Sam Morrison (fr.), Alyssia Sandborn (fr.), Haley Van Valkenburg (fr.)

Outlook: Lakewood returns a veteran team with nine seniors and three juniors and looks to win a fourth consecutive CAAC White title and a second consecutive district crown. VanValkenburg made honorable mention all-region, and Chase, Hokanson, Kruger, Spitzley (all first team), Cronk (second team) and Horstman (honorable mention) all-district. The Vikings will compete in the Division 3 district at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Allegan.

LANSING CATHOLIC

Last season: 2nd in CAAC White

Coach: Jodi Kramarczyk (18th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Lauren Phillips (sr.), Emily Bott (sr.), Haley Tanona (sr.), Rachel Phreed (sr.), MaKayla Stanfield (jr.), Grace Speckin (jr.), Lauren Blatnik (jr.), Erica Statly (so.), Maddy Brodeur (so.), Allie McCann (so.), Sydney Hale (so.), Maria Gonzalez (so.)

Other contributors: Elizabeth Dennany (so.), Olivia St. Germain (so.), Miranda Maher (fr.), Maddie LaPerriere (fr.), Sarah Taylor (fr.), Olivia Moreau (sr.)

Outlook: Due to a recent MHSAA rules change, the Cougars will be playing a full floor of 16 athletes in rounds one and three. That, combined with the return of 12 girls from last season’s second-place squad, should work in the team’s favor. Coach Kramarczyk has stressed conditioning and gymnastics training and looks to increase the difficulty level of the tumbling and stunting. The Cougars will compete in the Division 3 district at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Chesaning.

LESLIE

Last season: 4th in SMAA

Coach: Jean Maiville (18th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Kelsi Martin (sr.), Sara Courtright (sr.), Caitlyn Preston (sr.), Bailey Miller (sr.), Katie Navarro (jr.)

Other contributors: Kendra Weeks (jr.), Ketelyn Arnett (so.)

Outlook: Coach Maiville is excited about her squad which features a quartet of third-year seniors (including all-district selection Courtright) whose strength is tumbling. The Blackhawks are independent and will compete in the Division 3 district at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Allegan.

MAPLE VALLEY

Last season: 7th in KVA

Coach: Sarah Huissen (1st season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Tricia Grinage (sr.), Siera Rose (sr.), Alyssa Lance (sr.), Shennondoah Fighter (sr.), Jamie Richter (jr.), Brieyanna Hegwood (so.), Iva Weiler (so.)

Other contributors: Aimee Hamilton (sr.), Louisa Larino (sr.), Marielsa Mendoza Villareal (sr.), Elizabeth Christianson (fr.)

Outlook: New coach Sarah Huissen sees potential in her hard-working mix of upper and lower classmen. The squad’s focus has been on improving its jumps and gymnastic skills. It looks to add twist cradles and one-leg extensions to its round-three repertoire. The Lions will compete in the Division 4 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Webberville.

MASON

Last season: 2nd in CAAC Gold

Coach: Angela Boerkoel (1st season at Mason, 5th overall)

Top returning cheerleaders: Amber Dinsmore (sr.), Terra Thie (so.), Cassidy Droscha (so.), Olivia Tarry (so.), Anna Most (so.), Emma Wallace (jr.), Kaylee Drew (jr.), Paige Miller (jr.), Samantha Strickland (so.), Alix Cross (jr.), Paige Morris (jr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs have only one returning senior and will look for immediate contributions from a strong group of underclassmen which features all-league sophomores Thie, Tarry, Most and Strickland. Thie also made second team all-district and Strrickland honorable mention Coach Boerkoel looks for steady improvement as her young squad gains competitive experience. Mason will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

OVID-ELSIE

Coach: Katie Calverley (1st season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Echo Heightchew (sr.), Mariah Priest (sr.), Lauren Lake (jr.), Lizzy Bisson (so.), Andi Klier (so.)

Other contributors: Courtney Loynes (fr.), BreAnna Deming (fr.), Makenna Vincent (fr.)

Outlook: New coach Calverley inherits a very young team with only two returning seniors (including all-region selection Priest and all-district Heightchew) and a group of underclassmen that includes a trio of freshmen and all-district junior Lake and honorable mention sophomores Klier and Bisson. Calverley likes her squad’s work ethic and overall chemistry and is optimistic about their prospects. The Marauders will compete in the Division 3 district at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Chesaning.

OWOSSO

Coach: Trudy Schneider (10th season) and Jessica Nieuwkoop (3rd season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Danielle Whitney (sr.), Kourtney Nations (sr.), Hayley Nichols (jr.), Courtney Hassee (jr.), Ali Purdy (so.), Janetta Stout (jr.), Loganne Pratt (jr.)

Outlook: The Trojans return two seniors and four juniors from last season’s squad. Owosso will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

PERRY

Last season: 6th in CAAC White

Coach: Erin Houlroyd (2nd season)

Top returning cheerleader: Becky Poole (sr.)

Other contributor: Elizabeth Finch (fr.)

Outlook: Team captain Poole returns to lead a young squad that lost several several seniors to graduation and other sports. Incoming freshman Finch shows promise. The Ramblers will compete in the Division 3 district at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Chesaning.

PEWAMO-WESTPHALIA

Coach: Staci Myers, Amber Weber and Olivia Droste (6th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Brianne Schafer (sr.), Jilian Jegla (so.), Marylou Hengesbach (so.), Kelseah Trimmer (so.), Hannah Trierweiler (so.), Kim English (so.)

Other contributors: Alyssa Platte (so.), Sarah Spitzley (so.), Audrey Pohl (fr.)

Outlook: Only one senior returns from a squad that came within four points (759.9440-755.3048) of winning a state championship in Division 4 last season, but Schaefer and sophomore Jegla earned all-state. English made second team all-region, and Trimmer honorable mention all-region. The team has a large number of underclassmen that specialize in stunting and their coaches forsee another successful season. The Pirates will compete in the Division 4 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Webberville.

PORTLAND

Last season: 5th in CAAC White

Coach: Linda Fox (7th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Jayna Pohl (sr.), Alyssa Zoll (sr.), Emily Merrifield (jr.), Marissa Feldpausch (jr.), Amanda Pung (jr.), Chelsie Gieger (so.)

Other contributors: Kayla Miller (jr.), Avery Watson-Bell (jr.), Emma Richards (so.), Kortney Schaefer (so.), Kaylee Ruddy (fr.)

Outlook: Portland returns six members from the team that took fourth place at districts, which qualified the Raiders for their first-ever regional appearance. The team features four captains: all-league and first team all-district selection Pohl, fellow senior Zoll, and juniors Merrifield and Feldpausch. Geiger also made honorable mention all-district. The Raiders will compete in the Division 3 district at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, at Comstock Park in Grand Rapids.

ST. JOHNS

Last season: 2nd in CAAC Red

Coach: Jen Brewer (13th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Danielle Schmidtman (sr.), Megan Chant (sr.), Nicole Fransted (sr.), Alyssa June (sr.), Brianna Auten (sr.)

Other contributors: Michaela Snyder (jr.), Brooke Patrick (so.), Loura Cornell (so.)

Outlook: The Redwings return five seniors from last season’s second-place squad including all-leaguers Schmidtman, Chant, Fransted and Auten. Coach Brewer sees her team pushing perennial league power DeWitt in rounds one and three and likes the squad’s mix of upper and lowerclassmen. St. Johns will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

STOCKBRIDGE

Last season: 2nd in SMAA

Coach: Leisa Gipe

Top returning cheerleaders: Mercedes Medina (sr.), Abbey Devlin (sr.), Bailey Kruger (sr.), Rheagan Reasoner (sr.)

Other contributor: Madeline Battle (sr.)

Outlook: The Panthers have four fourth-year seniors on their squad, including all-conference selections Medina and Devlin, and are shooting for a top-2 finish in the CAAC White and a trip to the regionals. Stockbridge will compete in the Division 3 district at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15 at Livonia Ladywood.

WAVERLY

Last season: 3rd place

Coach: Patti Glenn (6th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Amon Brown (sr.), Kaitlyn DeLain (sr.), Jessica Martinez (sr.), Marissa Shane (so.)

Outlook: Of the team’s 14 members, only four return from last season’s squad that finished third in the CAAC Gold. Brown, DeLain and Martinez are all third-year seniors and join with second-year sophomore Shane to mesh with 10 newcomers as the Warriors aim for a top-4 finish in the league. Waverly will compete in the Division 2 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mount Pleasant.

WEBBERVILLE

Coach: Janet Wilson (5th season)

Top returning cheerleaders: Sarah Decker (sr.), Bailey Perkins (sr.), Kayla Aldapa (sr.), Chelsea Albin (sr.)

Other contributors: Samantha Driver (jr.), Chelsea Stanley (so.), Taylor Mayville (sr.)

Outlook: The Spartans return four seniors including Albin who begins her fourth season on the varsity. Coach Wilson is also excited about Driver and the potential of sophomores Stanley and Mayville. Webberville will compete in the Division 4 district at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Webberville.

WILLIAMSTON

Coach: Chanail Driver

Top returning cheerleaders: Brynne Tombaugh (sr.), Lacey Fate (sr.), Cayla Moore (so.), Ashlee Withey (jr.), Shelby Lakin (sr.), Amanda Dimmer (jr.), Kaysee Ishman (jr.), Yasmin Ayache (sr.)

Other contributors: Jurja Hartwell (fr.), Harley Ballard (fr.), Emily Blaylock (fr.), Carly Brown (fr.), Tory Davis (fr.)

Outlook: First-year coach Driver inherits a strong mix of seniors and juniors plus five talented freshman. This leads her to believe that the Hornets will improve with each meet. Williamston will compete in the Division 3 district at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Chesaning.

– compiled by Jack Dowd

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