By: Daniel Stickradt
COMPETITIVE CHEER: Breckenridge aiming for third straight state title
BY DAN STICKRADT
After six-year hiatus from the Division 4 girls competitive cheer state finals, Breckenridge finally made it back in 2014.
The Huskies finished fifth at state that season and followed that up with back-to-back state MHSAA championships in both 2015 and 2016.
Breckenridge has become one of the most successful small-school programs since the MHSAA became the first state governing body to launch a state tournament for the sport in 1994.
Coach Deb Gaines’ Huskies have captured nine state titles overall. Besides winning the D-4 state title in 2016, 2015 and 2007, Breckenridge also won the Class C-D state title six more times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006) as well as claiming the state runner-up trophy in 2003.
Pewamo-Westphalia has won eight total sate crowns in the small-school divisions, while Michigan Center has claimed five championships.
Over the past decade, P-W has made the cut eight times, although the school missed the cut in 2016 and 2014 while finishing in the runner-up slot in D-4 in 2015.
Also in D-4, Merrill has qualified eight times in the past decade, including third last season and second in 2014.
Over in D-2, DeWitt has been a consistent qualifier, making the cut five straight times, including second in 2015 and fifth last season.
Ovid-Elsie finished third in D-3 last season after failing to qualify the previous two seasons. O-E has made it to the state finals in six of the previous nine campaigns.
Division 4 Sanford-Meridan qualified in 2016 for the first time in over a decade, landing fourth in D-3, while Houghton Lake has also qualified three straight seasons in D-4, including fifth last March.
Lake Odessa-Lakewood is coming off-back-to-back state finals appearances in D-3, landing sixth last season.