Blue Gator Cheer: The Road to State


Photo Credit: Andrea McBride

Piper Blancher, Co-Editor

Get on your feet, Blue Gator fans! This past Saturday, December 1 the Blue Gator Varsity traveled to New Orleans to compete in the LHSAA State Spirit Competition. The squad competed against eleven other Division III squads and made it the finals where they placed fourth in the state.

Their journey started Friday night as they traveled to New Iberia to practice at Spice All-Stars gym. After what was possibly one of the most physically challenging practices of the year, the squad made their way to Tokyo to enjoy some tasty hibachi. Yeah, the meal was good, but nothing compared to the steam facials myself, Captian Sidney Ortego, and junior Faith Robinson were treated to as the chef cooked up our meals. The squad then got on the bus and made the two-hour-long journey to New Orleans.

Saturday morning squad members woke up and immediately got their own Hype Crew going, or at least my room did. We had our music going, and we were ready to show the judges just what we were capable of. Everything was going according to plan; that is until senior and Captian Sidney Ortego realized she left her skirt at home RIP SID. As some of us panicked, our coach Andrea McBride swooped in and saved the day, reminding us that “Everyone is here. Everyone is relatively healthy. Everything else we can handle. YOU are the most important part of all of this. We can do this in our pajamas. We can do this without poms and signs if we have to. One little size 2 skirt is NOT going to bring us down.”

The preliminary competition could not have gone better. The judges loved our band dance and gave us great pointers on how to improve our cheer. We waited patiently for our name to be called, announcing that we had moved on to the final round. Full of excitement, we jumped from our seats because this meant we had made it. Our first competition had become a success.

Alright, folks. It is officially game time. As we warmed up our stunts and completed two or three full-outs, junior Lauren Franques gathered the squad and gave us a little pep talk before leading us in prayer. Lauren exclaimed, “As some of you may know, I have wanted to win this state championship for a whole week and a half now!” It was this comical relief that helped to settle our nerves and make sure we hit all of our stunts. We went out, hit all of our stunts, and left it all on the mat. We knew it was not our best performance, but we were still proud of ourselves for all we had accomplished. The Blue Gators placed fourth overall, falling only .25 points short of Vermillion Catholic.

Division III finals placements went as follows:

Quitman High School (Quitman, Louisiana) — 86.50 points

St. Thomas Aquinas (Hammond, Louisiana) — 86.50 points

Vermillion Catholic (Abbeville, Louisiana) — 83.25 points

Ascension Episcopal School (Youngsville, Louisiana) — 83 points

Opelousas Catholic (Opelousas, Louisiana) –82.25 points