Lakeville competition cheerleading has successful season

Returning members are looking forward to tryouts in May

It’s never too early to be thinking about next school year, and for competition cheerleading that’s the case.

The Lakeville team is having clinics and tryouts May 10-12 at Lakeville North High School, which is the districtwide team’s home base.

As next year’s hopefuls are gearing up for another run, the 2016-17 team can look back at a successful year.

The Lakeville team placed 14th out of 31 teams at the National High School Cheerleading Championship at ESPN at Disney World in February.

The semifinalist placement in the Varsity Medium Non-Tumbling Division put the team 1.5 points away from advancing to the finals. It was the first time in several years the team had advanced from the preliminary round.

“They performed their hearts out,” coach Nancy Stein said.

Lakeville earned the spot in the national competition by placing second in the Universal Cheerleaders Association Regional in October.

The team placed third in the Minnesota Cheerleading Coaches Association Class AA Varsity Non-Tumbling state competition in January.

During the season the team, which is comprised of 15 students in grades seven through 12 in both the Lakeville North and Lakeville South attendance areas, won first place at the Eastview Twin Cities Open, Prior Lake Santa’s Workshop and Tonka Freeze.

Lakeville was runner-up at the Jefferson Jam Competition and Park Wolf Pack Classic.

At the WOW Factor Sports Championship, the team’s stunt group won first place among Minnesota squads and was third place overall.

Danielle Miller, an 11th-grader, was named to the South Suburban Conference All Conference Team while MacKenzie Stevens, a 12th-grader, earned honorable mention.

Stevens also earned a $500 MCCA Honor Team of Excellence scholarship.

During the competition season, Stein said the team practices six hours a week on increasing the level of skill and difficulty. Each year the coaches and team members create a routine with music.

“A good routine is one that the team enjoys preforming and is able to perform the routine clean with no deductions,” Stein said.

She said the team members worked well together as they supported each other and were willing to challenge themselves with new skills.

“The goal, like any sport, is to continue to challenge yourself and improve your performance,” Stein said. “Each competition is different and the energy level when they run on to the ‘big blue mat’ brings out the best in them. They perform with their own heart and as a team, improving each time they compete.”

This spring is just the beginning for the 2017-18 members. The team will hold camps and practices throughout the summer in anticipation of the competitive season that runs October to February.