Castle View cheer wins 5A State Championship

The champions overcame a tough year to bring home the title

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Castle View High School celebrated the co-ed cheer team’s 5A State Championship in a special celebration on April 2.

The champions were applauded as they brought the title back to the school. Known as being one of the top cheer programs in the state, this is the first time the team won the state title since 2018.

Competing in the 2020-21 state spirit championships on March 26, the Castle View team defeated Vista Ridge High School with a score of 86.25.

Team captains and coaches said it was not an easy year to earn the top spot in the state. The year brought unique challenges as the team had to work around COVID-19 restrictions. Practice times were different, social distancing rules required extra attention.

Captain Chloe Bullock said everything was quite different, starting with tryouts, which usually take place in April. Due to COVID restrictions, they were delayed until late summer.

“We did not have as many in-person competitions, and it was definitely a different year,” she said. “Our school has a legacy of excellence in cheer, and we set a goal to bring the title back.”

Coach Christina Montoya said she is proud of the team because it had to give up going to social gatherings and commit to online learning during competition weeks.

“This is my 12th year coaching, and I have never experienced a year like this one,” she said. “The kids were never discouraged. From the beginning, they committed to doing what they needed to do to fight for this.”

Castle View Principal Rex Corr said he is proud of what the team overcame to win.

“They have been fantastic ambassadors for Castle View,” he said. “All that hard work and dedication paid off.”

Derek Cordes, Castle View athletic director and assistant principal, said the team persevered through an “amazingly difficult year.”

“Cheerleading is highly competitive statewide,” he said. “This team is full of true athletes. They are students first, but they are dedicated athletes. What they do is so much different than other sports. They support other programs, work hard and compete hard.”

Ella Temme, a team captain, said her senior year of competition presented a lot of challenges to compete, practice and make it to the final competition.

“It has really been an uncertain year for sure,” she said. “We had times where several members of the team were quarantined. We were not always sure we would even make it the full year. I think this made us stronger and only contributed to our success.”

With the season over and school year ending, Caption Ethan Laman-Thornton said when he started cheer as a freshman, he did not realize the passion he would have for the sport.

“It has been a long, crazy year,” he said. “We have definitely created a lifetime of memories, and, for me, a true attachment to this sport. It is because of this sport I am going to college.”

Laman-Thornton earned a scholarship to cheer at the collegiate level in the 2021-2022 school year.


 

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