Cheer gears up for state competition

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By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
In the next three days, the Moffat County cheerleaders will be center stage for the first time in more than a year.
The boys and girls will be on center stage at the Denver Coliseum, as part of the Colorado State High School Cheer Competition.
At this point, coach Suzie Lords is trying to finalize the team's program.
Although her team has had a one-year hiatus from competition, Lords has instated two practices a day instead of the regular one.
At practice, the six girls and six boys work on the cheers, dances and hazardous stunts that they hope will impress the judges in Denver.
"It's a pretty intense competition," Lords said. "Nearly every school that competes in cheer will be there. Luckily we'll only have to compete against 19 of them in Class 4A."
The coach has great confidence in her team, and believes that by adding six boys to the team along with stunts, they should have more aspects to this year's routine.
Lords said that she's a bit concerned that the team hasn't competed for a year.
"Since the team is the kids, I let them decide whether or not they want go to competitions," Lords said. "Last year, it just came down to the team not really wanting to go."
This year the cheerleaders going to state are raring to go, and have set high standards for themselves they want to finish in the top 10.
According to Lords, the last time the cheer team traveled to the state competition, they captured 16th place.
The high goals set by the team this year will be hard to obtain, but if all goes well it is obtainable, Lords said.
"We're going to have to hit everything to be able break the top 10, because there is a lot of good competition in Colorado cheer," Lords said. "It ends up being pretty intense when you get there, because you're worrying about every little thing."
When junior Gwen Calvert and sophomores Krystal Chase and Cori Merrick are tossed into the air, the little things will matter the most.
This is why the six male cheer leaders have been recruited, according to Lords.
"We expanded the number of stunts immensely by having the six guys on our team," Lords said. "We just can't do the basket tosses and other aerial stunts if we just had girls."
One of the male cheerleaders is junior Zack Bergstrom, a two-year veteran of the program as well as a state qualifier from last year's team.
This year's team is favorable in Bergstrom's eyes.
He see's a lot more strength on the team than he has in the past, but he doesn't see strength as the key to breaking the top-10 this season.
"It's all going to be how much we concentrate when we get down there," he said. "If the concentration is there, we should be able to achieve our goals."

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