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ECS Elecs cheerleaders third at Best of the West

The competition was the first for many members of the team.
The Estevan Comprehensive School Elecs cheerleaders were third at provincials.

ESTEVAN - The Estevan Comprehensive School Elecs cheerleaders brought home a bronze medal from the annual Best of the West competition in Regina.

Coach Bonnie Chepil-Kvamme said she was proud of the members because 80 per cent of the 14 athletes were competing in their first-ever meet, and the other schools were from the big cities.

“There were five of us in total at the scholastic Level 2 High School Intermediate division,” said Chepil-Kvamme.

Most of the rookie performers for the Elecs are in Grade 9, but they also have a Grade 11 and a Grade 12.

Estevan finished with a score of 67.2 out of 100. The winning school finished with a 71.9 and the runner-up had a 67.8, so Estevan was just out of the silver position.

“Our dance was fabulous,” said Chepil-Kvamme. “All of our stunts … they didn’t wobble, we didn’t have any falls, we didn’t have any spills. It was a good, solid little routine.”

Judges thought the Elecs had a lot of energy, an excellent cheer and a lot of crowd involvement. The stunts weren’t overly difficult, and Chepil-Kvamme hopes they can be more ambitious for provincials.

“The routine just needs to be more difficult in terms of stunting, which is the hardest part, always, of any cheerleading routine. I’m going to have to beef those up a little bit. I feel the girls, now that they’ve experienced a competition … that definitely we’ll have more confidence going into it,” she said.

Chepil-Kvamme wasn’t sure how the new athletes would perform at their first meet. The setting can be overwhelming with the number of competitors present and the amount of people in the crowd. But the students have put in a lot of time and effort, and the returning athletes have taken a leadership role and have mentored the new competitors.

“There’s been lots and lots and lots of hours, a ton,” Chepil-Kvamme said. “More than a usual season, simply because we have so many who are brand new.”

Ashley Tedford, who was a member of the Elecs cheer team while she was a student at ECS, is now a community coach for the team.

“Because of the coaching staff, the returning cheerleaders and the dedication and devotion of those new people who have put the time in [we did great], but the bottom line is it’s the athletes and their drive,” said Chepil-Kvamme.

Every time they go into the gym it’s good to work with them.

Best of the West is a long-standing competition and Chepil-Kvamme knows the people who owned and organized the event, so she wants to support it each year. Since it’s in Regina, it’s closer to Estevan than some of the other competitions. 

Provincials will be March 18 in Regina. Chepil-Kvamme said the performance at Best of the West gives her confidence entering the culminating event of the season.

After the winter break, they will be busy practising to get ready, so they can have a nice, clean routine that the cheerleaders can be proud of, she said.