Cheer takes on states

Rebecca Davids

More stories from Rebecca Davids


Photo courtesy of Holly Darby

The cheer team proves they are a pro at stunts.

WJ cheer went to the state championship for the first time in team history. If there was any year for the team to go to states, it had to be this year because the team was packed with talent. After hours of practicing and perfecting their routine, the team finally benefitted at the state finals on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland.

“The coaches decided in August that we would set the bar extremely high and make it to states. It feels amazing that we can say that this team rose to the occasion and never gave up. It was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions that all of us would relive over and over if we needed too,” cheer coach Kirsten Smith said.

Seniors on the cheer team have spent countless years going to competitions, but this competition season was different and more meaningful.

“It felt really good to be able to make it to states, when I started on the team we were in Division II and it’s really amazing to see how all of our hard work paid off,” senior Zakai Corria said.

Three cheer teams from Montgomery County qualified to battle it out against the best teams in the entire state of Maryland. The other Montgomery County schools they competed against were Damascus High School and Clarksburg High School.

There are 25 cheer teams in Montgomery County and Damascus is in the 1A/2A division whereas WJ and Clarksburg are in the 3A/4A division. Therefore, WJ only directly competed against Clarksburg.

Going to states had a major influence on the girls and gave them a new outlook on competitions.

“I think that going to states impacted the team a lot. We are a lot more confident in ourselves, since we compare to the top teams in Maryland. Everyone is a lot more motivated now,” sophomore Maddy Turner said.

The WJ cheer team endured a stunt fall at states, but they still placed 10th out of 20 teams. Overall, the WJ cheer team is 10th out of 114 teams in the entire state of Maryland. The girls on the team can proudly announce that they are comparable to the best teams in the state.

Every year the team welcomes new freshman and loses veteran seniors, changing the team dynamic.

“We are losing a lot of people for next year, since we have 10 seniors. Everyone is really excited though, and we hope to place at states. I know everyone will work just as hard, since we know that we can do it,” Turner said.

Fall cheer season is over and now winter cheer will begin and the team will cheer at upcoming WJ home basketball games.