Bring It On

Lafayette Cheer Team competes for the first time in nine years


photo courtesy of Bella Volmer

The Lafayette Competition Cheer team faced off against 12 other teams in their division Feb.19 in three different categories.

Molly Brim, Administrative Editor

For the first time since 2013, the Lafayette cheer team participated in a competitive cheer event this season. A select competition squad composed of some varsity and junior varsity members attended the Game Day State Competition at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri on Feb. 19 where they placed seventh in Fight Song, eighth in Band Chant and ninth in Time Out Cheer.

With this being the first competition in years, it was a special experience for senior Bella Vollmer.“There were different divisions based on how big your teams was, and we had the biggest one. There were 12 other teams in our division. You compete in three different sections and they are all a minute long. You get judged in each of those sections,” Vollmer said.

Head Coach Margaret Levine has been coaching at Lafayette for the past nine years. Levine was a cheerleader in high school days and then coached the Iowa State University hockey cheer squad for three seasons.

“We haven’t had a competition squad since 2013 because we have not had enough interest from our cheerleaders, mainly due to the additional time commitment of a competition squad.  Cheer is a two-season sport, and especially on varsity, it is a huge time commitment with numerous games and performances.  A competition squad is an additional time commitment on top of an already time-intensive sport,” she said.

Levine’s favorite part about the competition was watching the Lancer team work together to prepare for the competition and have their practice time pay off.

“My favorite part of the competition was watching our squad take the mat with extreme confidence and perform their routine flawlessly,” she said. “My favorite part about being a cheerleading coach is watching the athletes progress in their skill level from the beginning of football season until the end of basketball season. Seeing the joy on their faces when they hit a stunt or tumbling skill they’ve been working really hard on makes me very happy.”

For the Game Day State Competition, sections were split into a cheer, band dance and school fight song routine. The competition team  practiced for three months straight, once or twice a week to prepare.

The maximum number of people allowed on the mat during the competition was 20 so cheerleaders tried out for a spot the competition team if they were interested.

Senior Mia Spellman, who has been a varsity cheer captain for two years, said she enjoyed being able to compete and seeing other schools do the same, especially in the band dance category.

“My favorite section to perform was our band dance. I love that each person gets to add their own little touch. It was also interesting to watch what the other schools did in their band dances. Band dances tend to vary the most from school to school,” Spellman said.

Spellman first started cheering  freshman year, and she is proud to see how far the team has come over the years.

“I like the family we create between squads as well as the feeling of performing. I love showing other people what we love to do,” Spellman said. “The bond we create is unbreakable and we’ll be a family for years to come.”