Ballard Cheerleading takes home the gold at state competition
February 15, 2017
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Ballard cheerleading has a long history of going to state. But the first place trophy has eluded them for over 10 years, since their last victory in 2006.
This year, the team was able to change that.
The girls delivered a stellar performance at state, where they scored an 84. This proved to be 11 points more than they needed to take home the state championship.
“I knew that we had hit our routine when we got off, and we all felt really good about it,” senior captain Maia Purdy said. “When second place was awarded and we still hadn’t been called yet, I think we kind of knew.”
The dedication and heart the girls had this season truly showed after Ballard was called for first place, and both players and coaches alike erupted in screams and cheers.
“I don’t want to say it was shocking, because we really were prepared, but having worked for it all season, it was almost surreal to see our goal accomplished,” Purdy said.
For many of the girls, this accomplishment came just in time to finish off highschool cheerleading with the highest level of success. There was certainly a lot on the line, but the seniors felt the pressure the most.
“Knowing that this was our last year made us work that much harder,” Purdy said. “We knew how much we wanted to win, and the underclassmen saw that too and stepped up for our sake.”
The girls returned to Ballard state champs and were given a “clap up” to celebrate, where the students congregated in the hallways and applauded as the team paraded by. While they are enjoying the success for a while, they will continue to cheer at basketball games, and have one more practice left.
Although the team was competitive all season, they put in extra effort to prepare for state.
“We had practices before and after school,” Purdy said. “Our coaches were great motivators. They knew that we wanted to win, and tried to push us, but also stayed supportive and reminded us what we wanted.”
Leading up to the state competition, Ballard was ranked first in their division after the final regular season competition, where they scored an 81.5 out of 100, 1.5 points higher than the second place team, North Central High School.
Regardless of this position and their hours spent in preparation, the girls knew that winning was no guarantee.
“Our division is really tough, there are so many good teams. At the end of the day, not everyone can win,” Purdy said.
Still, the girls had faith in themselves and their abilities.
“We all have a lot of trust in each other, and that really shows on the mat,” Purdy said. “We have been working really hard, and won our last competition, which definitely helped to give us confidence going into state.”
Next year, the girls will be working to defend their title, but for those who are graduating, the victory couldn’t be better timed.
“I am really happy it happened my senior year,” Purdy said. “Being a state champion is a highlight of highschool, and it feels really good to go out with a bang.”