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Wolverines Win Spirit Association Championship

May 05, 2016 05:23PM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

West Valley - Cheerleaders provide more to local high schools than pretty faces and pom-poms on the sidelines. The Hunter High School team won a United Spirit Association national championship and still has time to support the Wolverines teams.

“We are really excited. It is the first time a Hunter cheer team has ever won something like this. It is a big deal for us,” second-year cheerleader coach Rikki Rindlisbacher said.

The Wolverines participated in the national USA competition in Anaheim, California March 18–20. They brought home a first-place trophy in the coed varsity show, cheer novice division. They competed against nine other schools. 

The Wolverines qualified in a regional qualifier in December at Cottonwood High School. The competition judges look for appealing formations, exciting and enthusiastic dance routines, team pyramids, tumbling and stunt combinations.

“I think it is cool to watch the team in their routines. The stunts like Grayson [Baker] doing a one man [a one-person lift] are cool. I can tell they got better all season,” Hunter sophomore Kolbie James said.

The team practiced three days a week in the mornings starting in August. They cheer for football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, they timed swimming events and even performed at break of the wrestling matches. 

“I think the team does a lot for the school. I have an awesome group of kids. They all carry good grades and volunteer at many community events. I tell them that they can have the rest of their lives off, but from August to February they live at the school,” Rindlisbacher said.

The team is comprised of three boys and 25 girls. During the third term, 22 team members had at least a 3.5 grade point average and six had 4.0s.

“We have kids that are determined to do their best in school. Some of them are involved in other school activities. They still are driven and determined to do their best. These kids are so excited,” Rindlisbacher said.

The team found time in their busy schedule and lives to support one of their own team members, Teal Chubak. She was diagnosed with cancer before the school year began. The team rallied behind her, selling T-shirts and starting the hashtag #tealforteal in support of her.

“The kids wore teal bows and wanted to remember their teammate. At the nationals many of the girls put the letter T on the bottom of their shoes. It helped them remember who they were performing for. It was exciting that Teal was able to go with us to California,” Rindlisbacher said.

The team is already preparing for next school year. They held tryouts April 12–15 and will begin practices before the school year ends..   

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