By: John Raffel
Charlotte cheerleaders confident
Charlotte coach Yvonne Ridge expects to have another highly competitive cheer team this season.
Last season, the team broke three school records through the 2018-2019 season and qualified for its third consecutive state final championships.
The team won its eighth consecutive league championship, won districts, placed fourth at states and were the State Academic Team Champions in Davison 3 with a 3.73 team GPA.
Some excellent talented graduated from last year’s Charlotte team.
“Flyers Mady Conklin and Kenzie Bleisch, they both cheered all four years on varsity and competed in all three rounds of competition,” Ridge said. “They’re not only tremendous athletes but amazing leaders who definitely left their mark with the Charlotte Cheer program. Mady Conklin is attending Davenport University on a cheer scholarship and Kenzie is attending Michigan State University. They have both made it back to Charlotte to visit and watch the team they were so proud to be part of.
Seniors are Lynsey Peters (main base), Erica Brock (back spot), Zaraya Newth (flyer) and Haley Hoyt (secondary base)/
“These seniors set the pace for Charlotte cheer,” Ridge said. “They are driven, dedicated and help push our young team to the next level. They are the teachers, motivators and set the example for athletes to follow. Coaches expectation of these athletes is to own our theme. We decide how hard we work at practice. We decide to be academically strong. We decide to be respectable and be a leader at cheer, school and the community. We decide how successful we will be as a team.”
Juniors are Julia Phillips (main base) and Ellie Lundy (flyer).
“Expectations are to continue the traditions of Charlotte cheer and to support the seniors as they lead the team to the next level,: Ridge said.
Sophomores are Dakota Gerald (main base) and Cara Rankin (secondary base)
“Both of these sophomores compete in all three rounds of competition,” Ridge said. “Cara is extremely talented in tumbling and Dakota is a true leader on the team. Expectations are they continue to believe that we decide and continue to lead by example and build confidence on the floor as they compete.”
Freshman are Annabelle Densmore (flyer), Savanna McConnell (back spot) and Serena Sparks (flyer)
“These freshmen have worked hard and earned a spot in all three rounds of competition,” Ridge said. “Coaches expectations are that they continue to improve their already great skills and learn the tradition of hard work and dedication.”
Among the team goals is win a ninth straight league championship, break four school records, qualify for the state meet and be the Division 2 All Academic state champions.
“We have always been a strong stunting team,” Ridge said. “In addition to stunting being strength I would add tumbling and jumps. Last year we had eight team tucks and so far this year we have 13 team tucks. We have worked hard on jump conditioning and feel we are at our best right now. Being strong in stunts, jumps and tumbling will be a game changer for our team this year.
“We have a team of four seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores and 10 freshmen so gaining confidence on the floor is something we will continue to work on. In addition, we are always working on motions, jumps, tumbling and stunting. No matter how good the scores, there is always room for improvement.”
It will be an extremely competitive league.
“Last year Charlotte was Division 3 and DeWitt was Division 2 and we tied for the league champions,” Ridge said. “This year with Charlotte being moved back to the Division 2, it will make the league even more competitive.”