The Rochester Hills Stoney Creek cheer team won a Division 1 state championship March 1 at the DeltaPlex Arena. Pictured, the team competes at the regional level.

The Rochester Hills Stoney Creek cheer team won a Division 1 state championship March 1 at the DeltaPlex Arena. Pictured, the team competes at the regional level.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Stoney Creek cheer takes first state title since 2010

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published March 13, 2019

 The Stoney Creek cheer team is pictured during a routine in a D-1 regional tournament. Earler this month, the Cougars won their first state title since 2010.

The Stoney Creek cheer team is pictured during a routine in a D-1 regional tournament. Earler this month, the Cougars won their first state title since 2010.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

ROCHESTER HILLS — In its round-three routine, the Rochester Hills Stoney Creek cheer team proudly chanted the phrase, “Take it to the next level.”

After a fifth-place finish in last year’s state finals, the Cougars knew that’s exactly what they had to do this time around.

“What can we learn that other teams just can’t do because they’re not there yet?” Stoney cheer coach Tricia Williams said about this season’s bounce-back strategy. “What can we do to stand out and get a step up on all these other teams? And that’s really what we focused on.”

Returning 20 of 23 girls from last year’s team, Williams knew the team had its fundamentals intact. The goal this year was to find ways to be unique.

That goal was accomplished March 1 at the DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids where the Cougars captured the Division 1 state title, edging Rochester Adams by nearly four points.

“Obviously it feels amazing,” Williams said. “That’s what the goal was at the very beginning of the year, and to see that their hard work has paid off and that their goal has been realized, I was overcome with pride and happiness just to see them be able to realize that dream.”

The Cougars dominated on their way to the state title. Stoney won every single round of every single playoff tournament on its way to claiming its first state championship in nine years.

The Cougars and the Highlanders were neck and neck throughout the entirety of the playoffs, placing No. 1 and No. 2 in each tournament. That all culminated in the state final, where Stoney came away with a 792.72 and Adams a 788.90.

“I think that because we are all close to each other and we’re all in the same league, we definitely push each other to be better and to step up, because we can see that the other teams are also so good,” Williams said of the Rochester cheering community.

The coach went on to say that the teams also push each other from a choreography standpoint, always searching for ways to leave a memorable impression on the judges. Williams said the Rochester schools “are just so darn good,” and you have to really work to find things that make you stand out above the rest.

As powerful as Stoney’s routines were during the playoffs, they were also strong psychologically. It’s easy to get caught up in the pomp and circumstance that comes along with competing for a state title, but nonetheless the Cougars were able to remain mentally tough, which impressed their coach.

“Their poise, their composure and their ability to stay in that competitive zone with confident mindsets,” Williams said. “They really found the perfect way as a team to master the mental game of competition.”

When asked about the moment she knew winning a state title was realistically something her team could accomplish, Williams said it came right at the beginning of the season. The coach said that from the very first team meeting, it was apparent that the team had the focus and fire to make it to the top.

That’s where the Cougars will remain for at least the next year.