Woodland Park Cheerleaders Bidding For State Championship

Photo By Paul Magnuson

Team Has Gained National Recognition

Trevor Phipps

Now that fall sports are pretty much over, fans find themselves with little to cheer for when it comes to high school sports.

However, after a successful season with many teams making playoffs and even the state championship ranks, the season is not quite over for one sport that often takes a back-seat role: cheerleading.

Many fans don’t see cheerleading as being a competitive sport, but the girls do compete at their trade. And they have probably been more successful than any local athletic squad.

In the last couple of years, the Woodland Park High School Cheerleading team has definitely proved that they are more than just enthusiastic female students who lead fans in cheering on their team at home games.

In fact, cheerleading is a very involved sport, and it is one of the most physically demanding. The season for the cheer squad is actually longer than any other sport as they train during the summer and then they are on the field for the first football game that kicks off in early fall.

But not only do the girls cheer on the football team during every home game, their season continues through the winter sports session. After football season ends, the cheerleaders then spend their time cheering on the basketball teams at every home game.

And during the entire time they are performing during other sports games, they also have a competition schedule. The girls go to a total of seven competitions throughout the year, and at the time this article was written they had already competed in five.

The ladies had a tournament last weekend and then they will have one more competition before they go to compete in the state championships in the first week of December. And according to the team’s coach Shaina Lampton, the girls have done very well in the competitions as they have placed either first or second in every tournament including winning two meets in a row earlier this month.

Lampton said that the prime goal of the team of 15 girls’ is very clear:  They want the state championship trophy. The girls have had this goal since last year, when they were named runner-up statewide.

In fact, two years ago the team placed third in the state, and then last year they placed second. Lampton said that their next step is to improve once again and take first place this year.

After they won second in the state tournament last year, they earned a chance to compete at the national level in the 3A All Girls competition. The girls travelled to Orlando, Florida last February and competed against hundreds of other schools across the state, but they did not advance to the final round.

Ever since then, the team’s coach said that they have been working very hard to improve their skills. Lampton said that a major focus has been to improve the team’s tumbling skills.

During the summer, the team participated in a cheerleading camp. The camp was put on by STUNT which focuses on training the cheerleaders on completing better tricks during their competitions.

Lampton said that the team has also been attending a cheerleading gym to improve their skills all across the board. “The bigger skills we can throw, the more we can accrue points in the competitions,” the team’s coach said.

The coach also said that the experience of the team is one aspect that has helped them succeed this year and the past two seasons. “Out of the 15 cheerleaders on the team, six of them are seniors that have been on the team with me for the last three years,” Lampton said. “It helps to have that consistency.”

During the current period before the basketball season officially launches, the cheer team spends their time practicing and going to competitions. The ladies are hopeful that they have what it takes to bring home the state trophy when they compete at the championship on Dec. 9.