Sports

Decatur cheerleaders snare state championship

Members of the Decatur High School cheerleading team won the Class 2A/3A Non-Tumbling Large classification at the State Cheerleading Championships at Comcast Arena in Everett on Saturday. - Courtesy photo
Members of the Decatur High School cheerleading team won the Class 2A/3A Non-Tumbling Large classification at the State Cheerleading Championships at Comcast Arena in Everett on Saturday.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Decatur cheerleading team is the best Washington has to offer.

The Gators’ 19-girl team won the 2011 WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington Les Schwab Tires State Cheerleading Championship in the 2A/3A Non-Tumbling Large classification Saturday. The competition was held at the Comcast Arena in Everett and featured the top squads from Washington.

The Gators earned a superior rating to outdistance Meadowdale, Juanita and Meridian high schools. Decatur tallied 228 points, which was the best of any girls team at the entire state championships.

“The girls have worked really hard this year,” said longtime head coach Laurie Beaver. “These girls are fabulous. They are girly, girls all the way. But they are hard-working and smart.”

Beaver gives credit to the entire Decatur High School community for the state championship. The cheerleading team shared practice space with the school’s choir, band, dance and drama programs.

“Decatur is just a good place to be,” Beaver said. “We wouldn’t have won if the community of Decatur wouldn’t have been behind us.”

The non-tumbling category is just like what is televised annually on ESPN at the national cheerleading championships. The routines include stunts, pyramids, the use of signs, poms poms and megaphones, jumps, formations and dancing.

“We had a lot of variety in our routine,” Beaver said. “We knew we had to up our level of stunts and jumps at state in order to get the championship. We worked hard.”

The Decatur team includes Brooke Chapman, Emily Charbonneau, Ceaira Givens, Jackie Figueras, Christy Kang, Sophie Kim, Stephanie Kirk, Jennifer Lee, Roslyn Martin, Victoria Martinez, Morgan Peckman, Jazmyn Sawalla, Amber Taylor, Samantha Taylor, Laney Umland, Sierra Warriner, Angelica Watkins, E’lexus Woodhouse and Jazmin York. Beaver is assisted by Shana Biggs and Heather White.

Beaver was also honored at the state championships as the 2011 National Federation of State High School Association’s Washington Coach of the Year.

“It’s a pretty cool thing and came as a total surprise,” Beaver said.

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