December 19, 2012 - By Katelyn Winkler
The Lake Orion varsity cheerleading team finished their first competition of the season in fifth place, which pleased Coach Nancy DeAvila because the team overcame some injuries and maintained energy and enthusiasm throughout the day.
During the first event, held on Saturday, Lake Orion trailed only Stoney Creek and Hartland after two rounds a score of 446.66.
"[The competition] had some great positives," DeAvila said. "We started out really well. We were third in the first round and third in second round. Everything went along just as hoped until the stunt round."
Fans gasped when they saw a Lake Orion flier drop from what is called an extended scorpion stunt, but there was more going on than what the judges could see.
"Emma Berkal suffered an injury near the end of the cheer (stunt round). She hurt her arm but continued on through the cheer and it was amazing that she even finished," DeAvila said. "That put a difficult note on the end of the day."
As the Dragons awaited their placement for the day's competition, when they were announced at fifth place, the girls were accepting and understanding.
"Going into our first competition, we had some last minute people switch in and out of rounds," senior cheerleader Kayla Buchholz said. "It was only our first competition and we will improve and continue to get better as the season goes on."
DeAvila could not have been more pleased with her team after their first competition, considering some dropped stunts and an injury.
"All of my expectations were met," DeAvila said. "What I looked for in order to transfer into each performance was right on target. Our season is off to a really good start."
The Dragons head to Stoney Creek for the second time this season on December 19th with an optimistic view on the competition.
"It's going to be a challenge," Buchholz said. "We have new people coming into rounds to replace Emma. Since first and second round were good, we will just clean it up and hopefully do better this time."
With the Dragons competing in a new district and region this season, the girls are ready to compete against some new teams and show them what Lake Orion has to offer.
"Everything about this team is talent," DeAvila said. "It is limitless how well they can do and I'm excited to see them transfer their hard work to their performance."
As the girls prepare for their upcoming competition, corrections and transitions will be made due to Berkal's injury. DeAvila can tell that the girls are excited to help out with the situation and prepare the team for an upcoming victory.
"Wednesday is an important night because it is the start of our competition [OAA] league," DeAvila said. "Ultimately the goal is to get to state finals; we need to regroup, despite injuries, and get ready for the league meet because every meet counts towards who wins the league championship."
The Lake Orion will finish off 2012 with their early league meet, and start 2013 fresh with their "full material" as the coaches are hopeful to see all of their injured athletes back on the mat.