Coal Ridge spirit team captures third consecutive state title
Late routine pyramid stunt bedazzles judges; Grand Valley 4th in 3A Poms
Capturing a hefty 79.7 overall score following one of their toughest routines to date, the Coal Ridge High School spirit team has now won its third consecutive state co-ed division title.
“I think the pyramid we had at the end was very technical,” Titans senior Hartleigh Porter said. “I’ve never seen a pyramid like that at state.”
“With the whole COVID thing, it felt like there wasn’t enough time to get the routine done and perfect it,” she added. “But once we did it a few times, we knew it was a perfect routine.”
The titans, competing in the six-team 2A/3A coed division at the Colorado Springs Broadmoor World Arena on Friday, leaned heavily on six male athletes to execute a series of tumbles, tosses and the acrobatic game changer at the end. Four of the males are also varsity football players.
“I would say our routine was really a true co-ed team that really featured our boys, which is what the judges like,” head coach Alyssa Thurmon said. “They had a good variety of coed stunting.”
The title, however, didn’t come easy. Thurmon said judges applied a two-point deduction after a couple of foul-ups following a good performance in the warm-up room.
“We had a dropped stunt and some timing issues in the finals,” Thurmon explained. “But because our difficulty was so much higher, we still won.”
Thurmon said she’s pleased with her team’s perseverance at state and throughout the season.
“I think our team did really well with what we had. We did have some quarantines and a lot of kids were out of practice. Football’s going at the same time. Wrestling’s going at the same time. So that was a challenge for trying to practice around those schedules. But for everything they had to deal with, they did really well.”
Porter would praise her male counterparts for pulling through in a clutch.
“I think the whole entire team has shown more effort than I’ve seen throughout any year here that I’ve been on the team,” she said. “The football players that joined throughout the season, they really stepped up and showed the other football players that cheer isn’t like as dumb as they think it is.”
“I think that everybody else was just so excited to be able to have a season, so they showed as much effort as they possibly could,” she added.
The defending champions would easily earn their keep, outscoring second place finisher Bayfield (63.85) by nearly 20 points.
“I think that this routine was the hardest we ever had,” Titans senior and veteran captain Christian Vasquez said. “We threw in difficulty so that we can do our best routine at state.”
When the winner was announced on the loudspeaker, Coal Ridge went nuts, Vasquez said.
“It was really cool seeing everybody’s faces when we got the trophy,” he said. “That put the cherry on top.”
Though this year was plagued with its challenges, Vasquez said the team still gave it their all.
“It kind of looked like everyday at practice everybody was always trying 100 percent,” he said. “When someone wasn’t, we had to try and fix it and make it better.”
Porter, who plans on trying out for cheer and spirit in college, said not only is the title the perfect send off for her senior year, but simply getting the chance to compete amid the challenges presented by COVID-19 was a win in itself.
“I think that being able to win state or being able to have state at all in the global pandemic as a senior made me feel like we’re getting one last chance,” she said. “We‘re finally able to compete one last time with this team.”
• Lupita Angeles
• Chayce Colvin-Maher
• Andrea Jurado
• Aurie Madrid
• Morgan Terrell
• Jayla Petersen
• Dania Garcia
• Jason McHatten
• Jonathan McCartney
• Hartleigh Porter
• Haven Prodzinski
• Natalie Smythe
• Christian Vasquez
• Kutter Wilson
• Alan Bahena
• Paige Stecklein
• Nicole Herrera
• Samantha Copeland
• Head coach: Alyssa Thurmon
• Assistant coach: Tiffany McElroy
Cardinals 4th in 3A Poms
Grand Valley High School of Parachute participated in the 3A Poms division, advancing to the finals and taking fourth place overall with 77.10 points. Winning the division was University with 81.80 points, followed by Skyview Academy with 81.45 and Aspen with 80.28.
Also competing at the state spirit championships were Glenwood Springs in 4A Cheer and Rifle in 4A/5A Game Day.
Glenwood Springs finished 10th in the preliminary rounds of the cheer competition with a score of 52.40. Winning the division finals was Erie with 91.50 points.
Rifle was 21st coming out of the preliminary rounds in the Game Day competition with 68.35 points. The division was won by Valor Christian with 96.95 points.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.