COMPETITIVE CHEER: Rochester, Notre Dame Prep reach Summit at DeltaPlex Invitational
BY DAN STICKRADT
GRAND RAPIDS — After three years of struggles, Rochester’s competitive cheer team is mounting a comeback.
The Falcons, one of the top programs in state history, captured their fifth tournament title in nine events Saturday at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids, winning the Division 1 portion of the DeltaPlex Invitational.
Rochester scored a season-high 775.5800 points to topple the star-studded 22-school field which featured nine of the top 10 ranked team from D-1 and multiple top tier teams.
Southgate Anderson, last year’s D-1 state championship team, finished second with 769.4800 points, while Hartland (767.6400), Hudsonville (764.7600) and Grandville (762.2200) rounded out the top five.
Lake Orion was sixth with 761.1200 points, while Rochester Adams (758.3200), East Kentwood (755.5200), Utica Eisenhower (752.9200) and Macomb Dakota (741.2600) rounded out the top 10.
“I think the girls are finally starting to get it. It was three long years of struggles for us, but now they are starting to put it together,” said veteran Rochester coach Susan Wood. “We didn’t win a lot the past three years and two years ago we didn’t even make it to the state finals for the first time since (the early 1980s). But this group has come a long ways since the beginning of the season.
“We have 18 new girls on our varsity this season. But the young team we had at the beginning of the season isn’t competing like a young team anymore,” continued Wood. “I think we have seen that the last couple of weeks. Winning an invitational like the DeltaPlex is a big deal. Most of the power teams were here and we had one of our best scores the past few years.”
Rochester scored 230.9 points to Round I to take the lead by two-tenths of a point ahead of Hudsonville after the first round, with Hartland (229.7) just behind.
Hudsonville posted the highest score in Round II (228.46) with Rochester finishing fourth in the round (226.88).
In the third round, the Falcons took the show by storm, registering an impressive, season-high 317.8 points to put the finishing touches on the convincing win.
It marked the fourth straight weekend that Rochester has won an invitational, but none as big as the DeltaPlex. The Falcons’ third-round score is the highest of the season by any school in any division.
“It’s the highest in the state this season. That’s something we can be proud of,” added Wood, who has coached 15 state championship seasons dating back to 1989 and is in her 32nd season with the Falcons. “We didn’t have out best second round, but we made up for it in Round III. I hope this win can help us gain some confidence. The girls proved that they can compete with any team in the state by winning this invitational.”
NOTRE DAME PREP WINS DIVISION 3
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep took down the Division 3 field Saturday at the DeltaPlex, scoring 739.8400 points.
The top-ranked Fighting Irish posted scores of 219.9, 209.46 and 307.9, respectively, to win by 2.5 points. Comstock Park was second (737.2600), while Grosse Ile (720.4400), Paw Paw (718.0200) and Otsego (713.8000) rounded out the top five in the 14-school standings.
Michigan Center won the Division 4 competition with 707.8000 points. Wyandotte Roosevelt (736.6000) captured the Division 2 crown, defeating 13 other schools.
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