Ascension handles adversity at cheerleading competition
Any interruption in a cheerleading routine can lead to disaster for the ordinary team.
Interruptions can lead to missed stunts, holes in a team’s routines and other miscues that make their way onto the judges scorecards. Points are the cost for such deductions.
The Ascension Collegiate cheerleading squad had one of those interruptions during their first run at the provincial competition held April 24 at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay.
Midway through their routine, the iPhone playing their music returned to its home screen. The song stopped playing and for a moment, the two-dozen athletes were left without any audio cues on where to be and when,
“I didn’t even go to my second jump spot,” said captain Courtney French.
After the initial shock passed, coaches — including Dionne King, Meghan Follett, Ashley Clarke and Brittany Boone — rallied to get their charges back in step. They did this by imploring their athletes to run it through as they’d done countless times at the gymnasium in Bay Roberts.
“We just started counting,” said teacher sponsor Jennifer Roach clapping her hands in a beat familiar to the girls. Then the stadium started counting along as well, only one side of the rink was counting a different beat then the other.
“That’s how we had practiced, by counting,” said Roach. “They kept going and finished very strong.”
“We hit everything after that,” added French.
The Astros eagerly awaited their second run. In a way, they were looking for redemption.
This time the music wouldn’t shut off and they’d show the judges what they had intended the first go around.
“It made us want to push harder for the second round,” said French.
With that in mind, Ascension brought their A game to the second run through and did enough to land them in second place behind winners Holy Spirit High of Manuels and third place Gonzaga High of St. John’s in Level II competition.
“They came out in the second round and did a pretty flawless routine,” said Roach. “Our scores went up a lot after the first round.”
A young crew
Aside from seven seniors, the majority of the Astros squad was made up of younger athletes without a ton of competition experience.
Cheerleading in this province boils down to one performance at the provincial competition.
All of the work beforehand is put in at the gym, but competing is a different animal. To help with the challenges of performing in front of a audience, Ascension got in a competition prior to provincials.
They went to the Charity Classic in March.
“We went to Charity mostly as a learning experience,” said Roach.
How a team overcomes adversity can say a lot about the character of a group of individuals.
Roach said she was proud of how her group handled what was thrown at them and kept pushing forward.
In fact, the entire coaching group was pleased by the work put in after the miscue.
“We’re definitely proud of how they fought,” said Roach.
The Ascension Collegiate cheerleading squad finished second in Level II of the provincial championships held April 24 at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay.
The Ascension Collegiate cheerleading squad finished second in Level II of the provincial championships held April 24 at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay. The team was comprised mostly of younger talent, but there were seven seniors. Here they are with their coaches. From left, it’s Ashley Clarke, Jennifer Roach, Amy Winter, Shelby Caravan, Kaitlyn Goodburn, Eve Williamson, Courtney French, Shauna Burton, Sarah Oliver, Dionne King and Meghan Follett.