Lake Forest cheer team gearing up for state competition

FELTON – With the completion of basketball and wrestling, the Lake Forest cheerleading squad has shifted focus on cheering at games to strictly competition.

With the team’s first competition – originally set for Saturday, Jan. 21 – being cancelled, the squad didn’t hit the mat for the first competition until Sunday, Feb. 5 at Christiana High School.

“I thought we performed well,” head coach Amber Rash said regarding her team’s first competition. “We have a young team, so for some of the girls it was their first time out on the mat. So it was about getting comfortable, getting used to the nerves and the excitement and adrenaline.”

At the season-opening competition, Rash’s squad placed second out of three teams in the large varsity division.

In Lake’s second competition Saturday, Feb. 19 at Polytech High School, Lake placed third.

Lake Forest’s 2016-17 winter cheerleading team (Special to The Journal).

“At the two competitions we’ve competed in, we haven’t had our best performances,” Rash said. “We’re working extremely hard over the next two weeks and looking for a comeback at States. We’re in need of a redemption for all the time and effort the girls have put in.”

The state competition — set for Sunday, March 5 — is rapidly approaching, and coach Rash hopes to continue to tweak and improve her squad’s routine ahead of the competition 11 days from now.

For the state competition, Lake Forest will be competing in a division of four teams.

With a second-place finish last season, Rash has her sights set on a first-place championship performance at this year’s competition.

“We’ll take what the judges have told us in competitions so far, and we’ll make some small changes here and there to make it better and try to put out our very best routine for the state championship.”

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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