Cheer excels during season, falls at regionals


Julia Sexton, Co-Features Director

The varsity competition cheer team won the district and Conference 22 championships, but fell short of regional and state titles. The team placed first out of six teams at the conference championship on October 20. The team also won the Evergreen District championship by a significant 10.5 point lead on Sept. 30 beating nine other teams.
But regionals on Oct. 31 was disappointing, with Fauquier scoring zero deductions on an almost flawless, difficult routine. Kettle Run placed second with two deductions, and William Byrd took the regional title, advancing them to states. Fauquier Cheer hadn’t been to regionals in eight years.
“We feel like we got cheated,” junior Jessica Meerman said.
The team got an overall score of 9 at conference competition, which is extremely good, but the judges gave the same routine a score of 2 at regionals.
“We walked into regionals having the highest competition score out of all 15 teams there,” junior Alexis Tafrawe said. “Everyone is just very confused, considering everything hit and the coaches said that’s the very best that we’ve ever done before.”
Besides the regional competition, the team saw major wins and accomplishments this season.
At the conference championship, the team felt like they finally got the recognition they deserved.
“All of our hard work was finally noticed,” Tafrawe said.
They placed higher than Kettle Run, who had taken first at an invitational the week before. The team was judged at the competition on their clean tucks, flips, and tumbling, and how in sync the girls were.
The team remained healthy with only two injuries; sophomore Emma Bejger had a broken wrist prior to the start of the season, but she returned to competition, and junior Josh William fractured his toe, but actually competed at regionals only a week after the accident.
“I think we went into the season humble and worked harder and harder each practice to make our best better,” Tafrawe said.
Co-coaches Ashlynn Foster and Brandy Schaeffe, and new assistant coach Tami Doorly prepared the team for many weeks and are pleased with their success.
“This year we have really been able to work together as a team and encourage one another. This bond has helped us to excel in executing advanced stunts and tumbling passes,” Schaeffe said.
The girls began preparing for this season last spring. The team must also be in top shape for competition and must train and learn new routines months prior to the start of the season.
“We started conditioning all the way back in April,” senior and team captain Alyssa Carter said. “We condition all throughout the summer every year.”
Although they did not meet their goal of going to states for the third year in a row, the team hopes to come back next season with the same work ethic they had this year.
“Our goal as a team was to be conference champs, and we really just kept our hearts set on it all season and worked really hard at the completion,” Meerman said.