Source: Sherman Publications

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Cheer team victorious in division meet

by Andrew Moser

January 18, 2012

The varsity cheer squad is off and running in the Oakland Activities Association white division after winning the first division meet Jan. 11 at Oxford High School.

Oxford finished with 713.3896 points, nearly seven-and-a-half points ahead of second place North Farmington.

West Bloomfield finished third, followed by Clarkston, Hazel Park and Royal Oak.

The Wildcats found themselves in second by 6.3 points to West Bloomfield after the opening round. West Bloomfield opened with a 217.1, while Oxford managed a 210.8.

However, the tables turned in the second round as the Wildcats bounced back and posted the highest score of round two, a 203.8896, and took over the lead from West Bloomfield. "The timing changes we made cleaned up the round," varsity co-head coach Shari Russell said.

Round three, which Russell admitted was usually her team's strongest round, went true to form. According to Russell, Oxford's score of 298.7 was the strong round the girls did since she began coaching.

"It was amazing (and) the team is estatic," Russell said. "We couldn't be prouder as coaches. The girls worked extremely hard and it paid off."

Russell was especially pleased with the win and the girls performance since just four days earlier on Saturday, Jan. 4 during the Mardi Gras Invite at OHS, West Bloomfield beat the Wildcats by 33 points.

"We knew if we wanted to change the outcome at leagues, we had to regroup, focus on how much we had accomplished in one week and what we could accomplish in the next few days," Russell said.

So Russell and co-coach Melissa McClain went back to the drawing board and reviewed the tapes, hoping to figure out what to correct and change.

"We focused a lot on showmanship, tight motions and skill timing," Russell said. "We also reworked the opening tumbling sequence of our round three. We brought our plan to practice and our practice was jammed packed."

"Our girls have never been so focused. They didn't want to end over 30 points behind a team at leagues," Russell added.

Russell noted she wasn't satisfied with just winning the first league meet.

With the caliber of teams in the OAA White, Russell said the team could not afford to let their guard down for one moment.

"We're going to watch more video, make more changes, and keep drilling," she said. "Our goals are very attainable, but to reach them we're going to need to push ourselves to our fullest potential."

The squad travels to North Farmington Jan. 18 before going over to Warren Mott High School to compete in the All-Oakland Cheer Championship Jan. 21.