Jan 12, 2019, Adrian, MI.- 8 young girls from the Chelsea Michigan Beach Middle School took their place at the edge of the mats waiting for the judge’s permission for them to move forward and take their turn at the SEC Competitive Cheer Jamboree. You could see the nervousness in their eyes as they patiently waited in front of hundreds who packed the Maples gymnasium for the SEC competition. As they received their permission their fears melted away as they performed their routine under the scrutinous eyes of the judges and the watchful eyes of their coach, Christy Motsinger.
They performed in their three rounds as they were cheered on by their High School Bulldog counterparts. And their hard work paid off as at the end of the competition they shrieked with joy and screamed with excitement as they received first place for their wonderful routines.
What makes their story even better is it the first year of the team’s existence at the middle school level and they took home the high honor in their very first competition ever!
“Winning our First Ever Meet at Adrian made me so excited for my girls,” Coach Motsinger stated. “I didn’t tell them how they scored or placed after their first round (Called Round 2) because I didn’t want them to lose momentum or focus. Then after their second round (Called Round 3), I actually had to look at the scores 3 times before I believed it myself…They were sitting in
None of the girls have ever done Competitive Cheer and two of them have never cheered at all. Competitive Cheer is very different from Sideline Cheer because everything is about timing, precision movements, stunting, tumbling and working together as a team. Plus you are the focus of all the attention and are being judged.
But the hard work and great coaching paid off for the all 7th-grade team consisting of Ava Berkebile, Madeline Collins, Nora Davies, Cyprus Gabriel-Menegay, Katelyn Hagen, Lainey Kovick, Lydia Matusko, and Elizabeth McGuire.
“I think every coach wants a team that is excited and eager to come to practice every day, that aren’t afraid of working hard and do their best at every practice,” Motsinger said. “That’s what working with these girls has been like. They are so fun, they work hard at every practice, they practice at home and they are always happy the minute they walk in the door!”
But the risk of injury does not deter the Chelsea team, middle school nor High School, as they know the risk involved and practice hard and safe for every meet. The girls share a special camaraderie for each other not shown in many other team sports as the cheerleaders must depend on one another. The future looks bright for the Chelsea cheer team as these young girls seem to have a great future ahead of them.
“I always tell the girls that winning is not my priority, ” Coach Motsinger said. “It’s about giving me 110% every time you step out on that mat, being there for your team, supporting all the other teams and being your best self, and of course having fun. I am very excited to see where our season will take us!”