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District 833 cheerleading teams earn top honors at state competition

Cheer competition
Four cheerleading teams from South Washington County Schools earned first or second place at the Minnesota Cheerleading Coaches Association State Cheerleading Competition on Saturday, Feb. 2. 
 
East Ridge High School’s middle school level team earned first place in the middle school division, the East Ridge Junior Varsity White team earned first place in the Junior Varsity Non-tumbling division, the East Ridge Varsity team earned first place in the Class AA Tumbling 1 division, and the Woodbury Varsity team earned second place in the Class AA Non-Tumbling 1 division. 
 
The middle school team earned the top spot in their first year of participating in the state competition. Brittany Rod, Middle School Competition Head Coach, said she didn’t expect the team to go to state at the start of the season since most girls on the team had never participated in a cheer competition until this year. However, the girls’ hard work lead to the coaches making the decision to extend the season. 
 
“Our only goals going into the competition were to hit a clean routine, and have every one of the girls walk off the mat with a smile on their face knowing they gave it their all,” said Rod. “They worked so hard during practices, constantly gaining new skills and perfecting old ones which allowed us coaches to put more difficulty into their routine to help secure their win.” 
 
Anna Morrissette, Head Junior Varsity White Coach, said she is proud of her team, almost half of which started cheer this year. 
 
“The JV Non-Tumbling team is a new team returning this year, which I am thrilled about as it allowed 15 more girls to participate in a sport that I have loved and appreciated since 2007,” said Morrissette. “The team, in general, is very young. We have two tenth graders, four eighth graders and the rest are freshmen.” 
 
In addition, several girls on the team faced additional challenges in the weeks leading up to the state competition. 
 
“The girls really worked hard these past couple weeks, pushing through injuries and illnesses but their hard work definitely paid off in the end and I know the girls were so proud of themselves,” said Morrissette.