The members of Moffat County Thunder definitely have something to make some noise about after this past weekend.
The Thunder’s junior cheerleading team took second place in their age group at Cheersport’s Denver grand championships March 16. Comprised of some of Northwest Colorado’s most nimble and energetic young athletes, the team came in only behind the Cheer Central Suns Heat, of Broomfield.
The junior squad has 15 members, ranging from their youngest competitor, who just turned 5, to age 14.
This is the first year of cheerleading for 10-year-old Mackenzie Cuevas, who said she was pleased to see the results flipped from those of their first meet this year — second from first place instead of second from last.
“It’s definitely progress for us, and it’s really interesting to see what your opponents do so you can learn from them,” she said.
Cuevas and Shay Wait, 9, said the atmosphere was chaotic when the Thunder learned the outcome, with a lot of jumping up and down and screaming in celebration.
“It was a lot of fun,” Wait said.
Six of those on the junior team also compete at the senior level, which is for ages 10 to 18.
The senior Thunder team members cheered just as hard during the Denver competition, but a couple of slip-ups in their routine caused them to fall in the rankings in their division, where their total score was only about six points below the winners, with Broomfield sweeping both brackets.
The older the participants get, the more intense the expectations, said coach Angela Davis. A group of only 13 kids also has fewer options on the floor compared to some rivals.
“Some of these places have about 35 kids,” Davis said.
Davis said she has noticed great development in both the junior and senior teams as they move toward a national competition in May in Las Vegas. Also in that time, the team hopes to do some fundraising for their activities, hopefully by organizing a community dance or something similar.
But, practice comes first.
“For the next two months we’ll just be working really hard to increase the difficulty of our stunts and tumbling,” Davis said. “They’ve worked really hard, and I’m so proud of them.”
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.