Maricopa cheer to compete in state championships


The Maricopa High School cheerleading squad is preparing for a chance to win the school’s first state championship Jan. 25 at Arena in Glendale.

Maricopa qualified in November to compete in the Arizona Interscholastic Association Spiritline State Championships. That’s when they placed second in the all-girls stunt competition and fifth in the show cheer competition at the Agua Fria qualifier at Estrella Foothills. The top five teams from each division will compete in the championship.

The team got off to a rocky start this season with no coach until a week before cheerleading camp this summer. They were able to create their show cheer routine fairly quickly after school began, but had far less practice with the stunt routine.

“The girls had only been working on the stun routine for a few practices,” said Tammy Wells, president of the Booster Club.

Wells said the squad has been working on cheering for basketball and will add practices a couple of weeks before the championship to polish their routines.

Maricopa will face Coolidge, Show Low, Florence and Blue Ridge high schools in the show competition. For stunt routines, they will compete against Safford, Coolidge, Show Low and Blue Ridge.

Three judges will score routines on a 100-point scale. The team with the highest cumulative score will win first place. For the show competition, the girls will be judged on cheering fundamentals, the dance routine, appeal and projection, variety and perfection. Each routine can be no longer than two minutes, 30 seconds, and must contain a dance segment to music and a cheer.

Judges will score stunts on technique, execution and showmanship in a one-minute routine choreographed to music.

“The stunt team has a good chance (of winning the championship),” Wells said. “They executed their routine will and had a pretty good score at qualifiers.”

If you go:
What: Arizona Interscholastic Association Spiritline State Championships
When: Jan. 26
Time: 8 a.m.
Where: Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale.
Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for students with ID.

Information: Michele Staples (602) 385-3810.