ESTEVAN - The Estevan Comprehensive School’s cheerleaders came home with a silver medal from the provincial cheerleading championships in Regina on the weekend.
Estevan finished with a score of 69 to finish second in their division, 2.2 points better than Aden Bowman Collegiate, who came in third in the six-team competition. Thom Collegiate finished first with 81.3 points.
While there was a gap between the first and second place teams, Elecs coach Bonnie Chepil-Kvamme was still thrilled with their performance.
“They knocked it out of the ballpark entirely,” she said.
After their third-place showing at the Best of the West competition earlier this year, Chepil-Kvamme said she wanted to work on the difficulty and execution for both stunting and pyramids. Estevan had the second-best marks in both categories at provincials.
“The improvement was noticeable from Best of the West to provincials,” she said.
The routine was also adjusted to have more crowd involvement at provincials, she said.
The cheerleaders surpassed any expectations she had for this year, as the Elecs were largely a new team with 80 per cent of their athletes in their first year. They worked very hard to get to this point this year, and Chepil-Kvamme said they acted like an experienced group of athletes.
“They spent so many hours in that gym,” said Chepil-Kvamme. “They wanted to place and they did more than place. They surpassed third place, which is what we were shooting for.”
Chepil-Kvamme expects next year will be an “amazing” one for the Elecs.
She said they will miss their Grade 12 students – Semia Harding, Shaya Gill, Chelsea Brady and Kate Shmidt – because the graduates really took the lead this year, especially Harding, Gill and Brady, as they have been part of the team since they were in Grade 9. Shmidt joined for this year.
“Because of their help and their encouragement and their work with the new people, I think we’re going to have a really great year next year,” said Chepil-Kvamme.
All of the athletes were a great group who had a positive attitude and enthusiasm, and were very coachable.
“They’ve got such a good, strong work ethic, and they’ve learned a lot of techniques that moving forward are going to benefit the ECS cheer team,” said Chepil-Kvamme.
Ashley Tedford was the other coach for this year and was a big part of the growth and success. And she is thankful for the parents, who were very co-operative in getting the young athletes to the school in time for 6 a.m. practices.
“They were just a great, cohesive and supportive group,” Chepil-Kvamme said.