BEAVERCREEK — It was the ultimate in high school drama.
One by one, the public address announcer at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando was announcing the eight finalists in the small varsity non-building division. Members of the Beavercreek High School team heard some familiar names in Fairmont and Miamisburg. But the Beavers had yet to hear anything to cheer about.
Finally the 13-member team received the good news after what senior Emily Curry called a very long pause: Beavercreek High School was a finalist.
“Oh my gosh, they announced us the very last team,” said senior Caitlyn Reichert.
Beavercreek actually finished fifth in the semis, making it to the culminating round for the fourth straight year.
“We were all crying,” Curry said. “I think we were so excited because a lot of teams were really good and we all stepped it up.”
In the finals, the Beavers finished seventh after coming in fourth last year. But that didn’t seem to bother the team, which featured four-year seniors Curry, Reichert, Madeline Colle, and Kailyn Randolph. Just making the final round was an accomplishment because of less-than-stellar semifinals.
“(There were) a lot of falls,” Reichert said. “I was pretty excited that we made the finals because that was our goal.”
Added Colle, “There was a touchdown.”
Football — good. Cheerleading — bad.
That’s when a hand or arm touches the mat during tumbling or jumps and it calls for a score deduction, the girls explained.
It wasn’t just Beavercreek that struggled, however.
“Every team had something wrong,” Curry said.
Most teams were shedding a lot of tears and had yelling coaches when the semis wrapped up. Squads are judged by their ability to lead the crowd and perform standing and running tumbling, along with jumps and dance moves.
“They were just nitpicking this year,” Coach Jazzmine McGuire said. “It’s up to the judge. What they like. I don’t know what was going on.”
There was also a location change and the event was held in a different arena, McGuire said, adding that it made the finals seem unfamiliar despite making it the previous three years. That was added pressure the team had to overcome.
“I was proud of how everybody stepped up and did their part,” Randolph said.
While it won’t go down as their best performance at finals, it will be memorable because the team has eight seniors and it was their last competition together.
“I got them when they were basically babies,” McGuire said. “We’ve grown up together.”
During the last four years, the team has spent around six hours a week at practice, tumbling on Saturdays, and competitions on most Sundays from October to February. Plus many of them also cheer on the sidelines.
“It’s just real sad,” Colle said. “I’ve been doing it 12 years and I’ve spent six years with these three and Jazz (McGuire).
The load was almost too much for Curry, who admitted she almost quit two years ago.
“What?” McGuire replied.
“Sorry, Jazz,” Curry quipped. “Now I don’t have a choice of not doing it and its sad.”
Reichert said it’s “the end of a chapter in our lives.”
“We’re all going to miss it,” she said.
Other seniors are Alexi Hardy, Grace Tuck, Madeline Cosler, and Nikolai Seyler. Juniors are Madison Randolph, Emme Holley, and Riley Johnson; and sophomores are Angela Humphrey, and Lauren Graves.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.