by MARY JO HUMPHREYS-HILLS
The Rockford varsity competitive cheer team jumped and tumbled their way to a sixth-place finish on February 19 at the district meet in Jenison. In one of the most exciting meets this year, the Lady Rams were within a point of a fifth-place finish, scoring a total of 776.2 in all three rounds. A charged round one resulted in a score of 221.4, followed by 16 solid team tucks for a total of 239.9 in round two. The round three score was 314.9, as the cheerleaders performed one of their top performances this season. The district competition followed another exciting meet in West Ottawa the previous Tuesday, where the Lady Rams had their best scores this season.
The Lady Rams tied for fourth place in conference standings and finished another close fifth in the final OK Red conference post-season competition on February 16. Each cheer round was split by a narrow margin between all the teams in Division I. The Lady Rams tallied solid scores of 222 in round one and 248 in round two, while finishing with a final round three score of 323, setting a new school record.
Seniors Torri Mills and Nicole Siderius set the foundation for the future for this group of women. Mills is finishing her fourth year and was energized by the drive and heart of this team for the sport. “This team wants to be here,” commented Mills. Her facial expressions, motions and solid experience as a flyer make her a lasting impression.
Also in her fourth year, Siderius, who is also in all three rounds, worked to strengthen the confidence in the underclassmen. She is always ready to work and never steps back from a challenge. “This team has grown so much this year. It has been fun to work with a group who will listen and work to step up their game,” she said.
Both seniors are fantastic leaders who lead by example on the floor. All the seniors have shown remarkable leadership this year in building the strong team with a big heart.
Coach Kathy Jo Resseguie summed up the season, “I am so extremely proud of the girls this season. They fought till the end and never backed down. We had an amazing day at West Ottawa, putting the fight and belief back in them. They came up short of reaching their ultimate goal at districts, but came out on top this season in character, attitudes and teamwork. Their coaches, families and fans could not be prouder. Have no doubt that Rockford cheer will be back fighting even harder next year. The team has gained needed experience and listened and learned from an amazing group of senior athletes.”
Coach Mary Hurt remarked about the team as they finished out the season, “I am so very proud of the girls and how hard they worked all season and how they really rallied together and stepped up to show everyone that they weren’t to be ‘counted out.’ We finally had a competition to what we have been seeing in practice. We couldn’t be prouder as coaches. I have really enjoyed getting to know these girls and have loved every minute with them and watching them grow together as a team. Our seniors were absolutely instrumental in how we turned out and I honestly can’t imagine what we will do without them. But I think they have taught the others well to lead our future.”