It’s a five-peat for Coal Ridge Co-Ed Cheer team; Titans are state champions again

The Coal Ridge High School Co-Ed cheerleading team competes at the Colorado state spirit championships at the Denver Coliseum the weekend of Dec. 9-10.
Alyssa Thurmon/Courtesy photo

Coal Ridge High School’s cheerleading team continued its dominance in the co-ed division at the state high school spirit championships over the weekend, bringing home an impressive fifth straight 2A/3A state title and the school’s sixth overall.

In a sport dominated by the all-female student cheer, game day and dance divisions, Coal Ridge has found its niche by building one of the most successful co-ed teams in Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) history. And, the accolades keep coming.

“We have an incredible group of boys this year,” head coach Alyssa Thurmon said of the Coal Ridge varsity squad that includes seven boys and 12 girls. “They came in and embraced our team and culture, and they did whatever I asked of them and gave it 100%.”

No small feat, considering many of those athletes, boys and girls both, double up and play football, basketball, volleyball, and run cross country — not to mention being top students academically, Thurmon said.

“To say this is an amazing group of kids is an understatement,” Thurmon said. “They are truly exceptional.”

It all starts with 5:30 a.m. cheer practice, which is impressive enough by its own right.

The result of that hard work and dedication played out on the cheer mat at the Denver Coliseum Friday and Saturday, where the Titans not only were the top 2A/3A team, but also the third-best team in all classifications. In the finals, Coal Ridge outscored 4A Co-Ed Cheer champions Thompson Valley, 88.85 to 87.1. Only 5A champion and runner-up Vista Ridge and Thunder Ridge scored higher in the finals, at 93.4 and 88.9, respectively.

Also competing at the state cheer championships were Glenwood Springs High School, placing eighth and just missing the finals in the 4A Cheer division, and Rifle High School, finishing 24th in 4A/5A Gameday.

Titans team member Jesus Camunez earned All-Elite at the state championships.

The Coal Ridge High School Co-Ed cheerleading team shows off its fifth straight state championship trophy and banner.
Alyssa Thurmon/Courtesy photo

Among the 10 seniors on this year’s team are Lupita Angeles and Kutter Wilson.

“It’s a surreal experience to show up at state after putting in so much blood, sweat, and tears on the mat in practice and doing as well as we did,” Angeles said. “Everyone looks up to Coal Ridge there because we are one of the true co-ed teams, and they even want to take their picture with you.

“We just all love each other with all our hearts, and we literally trust each other with our lives out there.”

Angeles has been part of the Titans cheer team all four years of high school and said it was fun to finally compete in front of a crowd of people and back at the Coliseum, following two years of restrictions due to the pandemic.

She said it’s also nice to see cheerleading finally earn the recognition it deserves as a sport, even being given consideration for an Olympic sport, though it was ultimately not chosen among the new sports to be unveiled at the 2024 Games in Paris.

Wilson is a dual-sport athlete who has been on the cheer team for three years, in addition to playing football for the Titans.

“It was a lot of fun competing this year, with all of the energy everyone had,” he said. “We have great chemistry with everyone on this team, and we’re all really good friends. It feels like a tight family.”

Both Angeles and Wilson said they would like to continue to do competitive cheer when they go on to college.

Other Coal Ridge cheer team members are Alan Bahena, Dania Garcia, Faye Goodman, Irene Hernandez, Angel Hernandez, Nicole Herrera, Winter Keeney, Jayla Petersen, Malanie Ruiz, Justice Segovia, Morgan Terrell, Noelia Molina, Dulce Mariano, Kiel Tlaxcala, Aidan Roa and Toni Lagunas. Assistant coach is Jaycie Krueger.

Post Independent interim Managing Editor and senior reporter John Stroud can be reached at or at 970-384-9160.

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