The competitive cheer season is well under way, and once again the Rochester area public schools are proving to be a force on the state scene.
At the first of three Oakland Activities Association Red Division tournaments Dec. 15 at Troy Athens, Rochester High came out on top with 771.35. Rochester Adams was second with 769.14 points, followed by Lake Orion with 760.76, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 752.03, Troy High 708.71 and Troy Athens 677.89.
“Our league is always so competitive. From round to round, it’s competitive, and it really just comes down to who is best that day,” Adams coach Courtney Abela said.
Each team earns points for its finish, and after the three Red meets are complete, with the final meet worth double the points, the champion is crowned.
In each competition, there are three rounds of scoring. The first is judged on team coordination and the first two jumps performed.
In the second round, the squads are judged on the first 10 moves, which is exactly the same for all the teams competing.
In the third round, teams are judged on stunting and tumbling.
Finishing second by just two points, Abela said any number of things could have made the difference for Adams.
“It could have been a couple of pointed toes or a louder voice,” she said. “It was back and forth all day.”
On Dec. 10, Adams came out on top in the Competitive Cheerleading Coaches Association of Michigan meet. Rochester was second, just behind the Highlanders.
“It was a great way to start our season. We’ve always been competitive, but this year we have 12 seniors, and seven have been with me since they were freshmen,” Abela said. “They’re all motivated and driven. They were excited to get out there and perform for the first time together. They really brought their fire and drive.”
Abela knows it’s going to take that fire and drive to win the Red this season. In the Dec. 12 coaches poll, Rochester is ranked No. 1, Lake Orion No. 4, Adams is No. 6 and Stoney Creek No. 7.
“Achieving the league championship would be great, but looking down the road, we’d like to qualify for regionals and then the state final,” she said. “I’m excited to see how it’ll all end up in January and February, and then, hopefully, in March.”
Catch the other two Red meets Jan. 11 at Adams and Feb. 4 at Oxford High, starting at 6:30 p.m. and 10 a.m., respectively.