Go, fight, win!

Moffat County High School's cheer and dance teams headed to state competition

On one of the final days of practice before the state spirit competition, senior Grace Henderson took a moment to reflect.

"It's been a fun ride," Henderson said.

Cheer written by Grace Henderson and Catherine Compton, senior captains.

1, 2, 3, 4 -- fans, in the stands yell go!

Get loud, say it proud, yell big!

Moffat, time to rock it, yell blue!

Yell it now dogs you know how -- yell, go big blue! (yell it)

Go, big, blue! (last time) Go, big, blue!

Henderson said she is sad in some ways, knowing her Moffat County High School cheer career is closing, but she is opening a new chapter in her life.

Henderson's plans after state include getting a job, because "a girl's got to have money."

But before she starts working, she plans on going out with a bang. And the rest of the team is following her lead.

"I'm so excited for state, it's going to be so much fun," Henderson said.

As one of the cheer team's captains, Henderson has helped the younger girls get things right. With a new routine in place, the Bulldogs have been working tirelessly on perfecting it.

Coach Angie Jenkins said that because the team got a late start preparing for the competition, things are not flowing smoothly. Regardless, she said the girls will pull it together when it counts.

"They just got done learning the routine," Jenkins said. "But I think that's a good thing."

Jenkins said that because it is so new, she hopes it stays fresh in cheer members' minds, because from past experience -- when the team knew the routine inside and out -- they got bored with it.

"When it's fresh, it keeps it new and exciting," Jenkins said.

The routine that the Bulldog cheerleaders have in place takes pieces of last year's routine and mixes them with new stunts and a new cheer written by Henderson and Catherine Compton, the other senior captain.

Compton admitted that the cheer she and Henderson wrote took them about an hour to complete but said wording it gave them the biggest trouble.

"It was hard to find words that flow without sounding dumb," Compton said.

Both Compton and Henderson have decided to opt out of cheering for basketball this season, saying they'd rather enjoy time with their friends in the stands instead of leading cheers.

Unlike Henderson, Compton has plans of continuing her cheer career at the collegiate level, whereever she goes to school.

But state is the first priority for the seniors, and the focus is to be successful there. With tumbling series, stunting and two dance sequences, the team has a lot to remember in the two and a half minute slot they have to perform.

"The stunts and the timing are hard," Compton said. "We just have to remember to count constantly in our heads."

Along with the cheer team, Jenkins is the dance team coach, which also is going to the state competition.

Again, a new routine is in place for the dancers.

"We've been working on it for three to four weeks now," senior captain Kellie Jorgensen said. "But we're a little nervous."

Jorgensen explained that due to a late start in the season, the Bulldogs are behind other teams that will be at the competition.

"Most of the teams started to work on their routines in the summer," Jorgensen said.

While some of the other teams have choreographers, the Bulldogs do not. And co-captain Amanda Wilson said because of the way a dance routine is -- most of it being made up from scratch -- the Bulldogs made up their own.

The routine for the Bulldog dance team features kick-line moves and sharp hip-hop moves, called pom hip-hop.

"We want to keep it up-scale and fast-paced," Jorg-ensen said.

Wilson agreed, saying that they are out of breath after the routine is over.

Jorgensen, like Henderson and Compton, is participating in her last state competition. She said she is sad to see it end and will continue on the dance team through the winter sports season.

"I'm going to miss it," Jorgensen said. "But I couldn't have asked for anything more."

The Bulldogs cheer and dance teams compete Saturday afternoon at the Denver Coliseum.

Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or mmcdaniels@craigdailypress.com.

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