Rifle spirit squad takes second | PostIndependent.com

Rifle spirit squad takes second

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bears are back.After a half decade of coaching changes and varying philosophies, Rifle’s cheerleading program has started to build a foundation, along with a reputation for future squads to live up to.Making their first appearance at Mesa State College since the opening years of the millennium, the Bears cheerleaders took second place in the small varsity division at the National Cheerleaders Association’s Western Colorado Regional held at Brownson Arena.The small varsity division consists of cheer squads with less than 14 members. While Saturday’s event is tiny compared with the Colorado High School Activities Association’s State Spirit Championship Rifle will participate in next month, earning the regional runner-up award is a huge confidence and morale booster for the all-underclass team, said first-year coach Allison Hunzeker.”We basically started from ground zero,” she said. “We only have two or three returners from last year. So to see them come this far and work so hard, it’s really inspiring.”Julia Burgess, one of the returnees and a squad co-captain, sensed the Bears’ two-and-half-minute routine was in sync.”I have never been so proud of a squad before,” she said. “I knew it was going well. We hit it, and we hit it hard. It was great. We did it, and we did a great job.”What’s more important, Hunzeker said, is how the squad felt after its initial plunge into competitive cheerleading.”They all had fun and truly enjoyed themselves,” Hunzeker said. “To be completely honest, one of the girls who was kind of unsure if cheerleading was her deal left the floor saying, ‘That was amazing and the most fun I’ve ever had.’ That is very gratifying.”Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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