Coal Ridge cheer places seventh at nationals despite removal of some athletes |

Coal Ridge cheer places seventh at nationals despite removal of some athletes

Coal Ridge cheer performs at nationals in Dallas.
Submitted / Alyssa Thurmon

Coal Ridge cheer placed seventh among eight co-ed competitors at a national competition this past weekend despite the removal and discipline of some Coal Ridge Titans athletes prior to competition.

The Titans who competed earned a seventh place overall finish in the Co-ed Game Performance Division. The National Cheer Association High School Nationals event took place Jan. 22-23 in Dallas.

Titans Head Coach Alyssa Thurmon said the removal was caused by “an internal issue,” which prompted the Titans to make “major changes an hour before competition.”

“The kids who competed did a tremendous job with the changes and showed incredible resilience and fortitude,” Thurmon said in Tuesday email. “Our seniors who competed led their team with grace and dignity. It was not easy.”

The on-the-spot changes, which included having to perform on a turf field outside of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, didn’t stop Coal Ridge from putting up a solid pyramid, Thurmon said.

“They did a great job with what they had,” she said. “That’s not how they wanted to end the season, but they still persevered.”

Coal Ridge headed into the national competition fresh from winning their fourth consecutive 2A/3A coed state title, which makes them the most dominant athletic program among all Garfield County high school sports in recent memory.

Thurmon, in her 10th season as head coach, said the program goes into its next season losing nine seniors.

“Next year we’re going to have to have some kids step up,” she said. “It feels like we start all over every year, so I think we’re going to be fine.”

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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