It was the Bulldog Bash and it was a competitive cheerleading smash, as 22 teams gathered in Chelsea High School Wednesday evening in the first ever cheer competition hosted by Chelsea. The idea of a cheer competition in Chelsea was the brainchild of 3rd year Chelsea Cheer Head Coach Stephanie Pratto. She approached Chelsea Athletic Director Brad Bush about it and he fully supported it and set up a date. Administration Assistant Tracie Stofer did quite a share of helping out also including ordering the trophies, which Pratto stated were amazing.
“I don’t think any of us expected quite the turnout we had,” Pratto stated. “It was great to have so many teams here and see all the happy faces.”
The buzz in the crowd was very positive as the gym was packed with enthusiastic and supportive cheer families and friends and the walls were lined up with vendors. There were 3 rounds of competition and the event was kicked off by the singing of the National Anthem by Chelsea’s Sahara Murphy. Then it was the Tecumseh varsity team taking the mat. The host Bulldogs competed 9th in the first round.
“To compete at our home was really exciting,” said Trisha Bowman, the teams only senior. “When we hit that mat there was so much adrenaline going on with my cheer family.”
It was Western High School taking home the first place trophy in Division 2, with Jackson Lumen Christi winning the division 3/4 category. The Division 2 middle school champions were Allen Park 8th grade while the division 3/4 winner was Jackson Lumen Christi.
The home Bulldogs finished in 5th place on the evening.
“Overall we did decent and pushed through round 3,” Bowman said. “Even though it wasn’t our best effort I am proud of each and every girl pushing through.
Although many pundits feel cheer isn’t a sport, those involved will argue wholeheartedly with you. Cheerleading is one of the sports that have the most non-catastrophic injuries. Fortunately, though there were no major injuries reported.
“The girl’s performance showed a lot of enthusiasm and pride for their school and their sport,” a very elated and proud Pratto said. “And I’m very grateful for all the volunteers, parents, judges, and participating teams that helped make our first Bulldog Bash a huge success.”
It’s a very young team and there is much potential for the future of Bulldogs cheerleading. That statement is empathized by the senior Bulldog Bowman.
“Just competing the last 3 years we have come a long way,” Bowman stated. “These girls have so much potential for this team in the future. And I will definitely miss these girls and having that rush of energy while being out on that mat.”