Four cheers in four years: Coal Ridge cheer wins fourth straight state championship |

Four cheers in four years: Coal Ridge cheer wins fourth straight state championship

The Coal Ridge cheer team competes during the state championships in Colorado Springs on Friday.
Submitted / Alyssa Thurmon

For the fourth year in a row, Coal Ridge High School cheer has nabbed a state championship.

Competing in the 2A/3A Coed Cheer division at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs on Friday, the Titans added to their already vast trophy collection with a winning score of 87.6.

The title marks the fifth state title for Coal Ridge head cheer coach Alyssa Thurmon. Thurmon first led the Titans to a title in 2016, only to get second place in 2017 before they won the next four in a row.

Friday’s final handily outdid second-place Bayfield, which nabbed a 73.2. The Titans put forth the highest final score among 11 co-ed teams in their classification.

Other area teams competing at the state spirit championships included Aspen, which won its second championship in three years in the 3A Poms division.

In addition, Glenwood Springs placed 16th out of 24 teams in the 4A All Girls Cheer division; Rifle was 25th out of 34 teams in the 4A/5A Gameday division; and Grand Valley was fourth out of five teams in 3A Poms.

Coal Ridge senior Haven Prodzinski, who’s now been on a Titans state title team all four years of high school, said beating out every division has been a longstanding goal for Coal Ridge.

“Competition in our division usually isn’t super crazy but (Coach Alyssa Thurmon) has always had the goal to beat all the other co-ed divisions, and this year we got the highest score,” she said. “We’ve been gunning for that since my sophomore year.”

The accomplishment is the perfect send-off to her senior year, Prodzinski said.

“It’s super rewarding, because we practice basically almost every day, we practice all breaks, and we put a lot of work into all our championship titles,” she said. “I think we all had the same mindset going into state this year. We just wanted to do the best routine, and we all just left it all on the mat.”

Fellow senior Jon Bolitho also credited Thurmon for inspiring the Titans to achieve state success.

“It’s so great to be a part of a team I can call my family. It was an incredible experience,” he said. “I’m a really hard-working person, and for something to pay off like this is amazing.”

“(Thurmon) is just inspiring,” Bolitho said. “She is just frickin’ amazing in every way.”

Thurmon said the Titans triumphed Friday using stunts with higher difficulty than the 10 other teams in their division.

“It’s kind of crazy. I don’t even know what to say,” she said. “They show up every day, and they do what I ask. I would say our stunting is at an elite level.”

The Coal Ridge cheer team celebrates winning a state title in Colorado Springs on Friday.
Submitted / Alyssa Thurmon

Going into this week, the Titans are going to reflect on their monumental accomplishments, Thurmon said. But more than that, they now have their sights set on something bigger.

“This coming week, I think we’re just going to reflect on what we did and get back to work for nationals,” Thurmon said.

Cheer nationals are slated for Jan. 22-23 in Dallas. The 2022 National Cheerleaders Association competition will be televised at

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

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