Hi-Liner Cheerleaders Compete in Minot

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Madi Klabo
On Saturday, March 16th, the Hi-liner Cheer Team competed at their second competition in Coach Sarah Miller’s time as a coach. VCHS’s first competition with Coach Sarah was on December 1st at Fargo North. Since their first time competing, both Coach Sarah and the girls have become more confident, and even without bringing home a trophy, they did VCHS proud with their ability to get back up and try again. To get a better look at some of the anticipation about this season’s competition, I checked in with Coach Sarah and some of the girls to see some of the exciting things that come along with a tournament like this.
Coach Sarah Miller got her love of competing by going to competitions with her cheer team, the Chesterton Trojans, while in high school. When she moved to Valley City, she became a cheerleader where there was no competition. Since leaving high school, she decided to start coaching the team and will begin her fifth season with the team in June with tryouts. The most important part of coaching this team to her is the cheerleaders. She feels that making a difference in one life or teaching a vital life skill means that she has done her job correctly. She also states that it takes a village and that nothing would be possible without the help of the cheerleader’s families, the cheerleaders, and assistant coach Tabatha Branam. When asked about why she chose to have Valley City compete again, Sarah responded, “Competition is a great way to showcase your skills. The VCHS cheerleaders work hard 9/12 months of the year to develop skills, stunts, and routines to encourage and lead the way to other Hi-liner team successes. They are always there to cheer on and motivate their football and basketball teams and often are overlooked. In competition, we get to be creative and showcase those skills we use every day and are rewarded for it. It puts the Cheerleaders in the spotlight and shows what a true, tough sport Cheerleading is!” While discussing the topic of fear in competition, Sarah replied “Personally, the hardest thing about competition is worrying about if I have prepped the team well enough. Our first competition together as a team was also my first time preparing a team and take a team to the competition. I love those girls as my own, and I want them to do well SO BAD and remain encouraged even if they don’t earn a trophy and I think that is the toughest thing about competition. As far as a team goes, I believe the hardest part is creating completely new routines each season. We have to get creative as we aren’t allowed to repeat any routines! We also like to keep challenging ourselves. We push to do better stunts, harder dance combinations, incorporate more crowd leading by using signs. It’s the most fun part but also the most difficult!” Finally, while talking after it was over, Sarah told me about how the competition went. “One of my favorite mottos to live by is “You either Win, or you Learn.” The last two competitions have been a learning process for sure!! As a coach, this was my first-year prepping and taking a team to completion, so it was a huge learning curve for both myself and the team. We haven’t brought home a trophy from competition yet, but we have made MASSIVE improvements in our skills and stunts! We improved two placings in the time out division and finished above last in the Team competition!!! As long as we keep improving and learning I’ll continue to push our team to competition!”
Next, I checked in with cheerleading co-captain Bryn Didier to see what competition means to her. Bryn is a freshman and has been involved since the beginning of 7th grade, with three years under her belt today. Bryn is both a basketball and football cheerleader. The best thing about cheer in her opinion is the relationship and team bonding side of the experience. While talking, she showed anticipation and excitement for this season’s competition. The scariest part of competing to her is making sure the stunts stay clean, so no one falls, and going up solo for specified events, like the All-Around competition.  
Finally, I talked to 8th grader Emilee Olson-Gronneberg to see why cheer competition is significant. Emilee has been involved with the cheer team for two years, both as a 7th and 8th grader. The best thing about cheer to her is getting to know the other girls, and becoming a team. Her excitement for this tournament not only lies at cheer competition on its own, but also serves as a way to gain recognition for their achievements from, and around, the school. Similarly to Bryn, Emilee fears the solo competition aspect of cheer competition, whether it be Jump Off or All-Around.  
Even without bringing home a trophy this season, we can certainly expect great things from these girls in the future.
Madi Klabo is a Valley City Junior High School student who is writing for the Times-Record.