Battle Ground High School senior cheerleader Cody Thompson and his teammates will never forget the moment they became the 4A non-tumbling state champions in their own gym Friday.
“When they announced our name getting first, it was such a rush. No way I thought that was going to happen,” Thompson said. “I’m beyond proud. Everyone’s been working hard. A lot of tears and blood in practice. It paid off.”
The cheerleading competition brought 99 teams from across the state to Battle Ground High School. The Tigers earned a score of 69.25 to rise above the three other schools in the non-tumbling category and become state champions. Cascade of Everett took second with a score of 68, followed by Hazen (66.5) and Monroe (62.25).
“It felt good to get first place and hit all of our stunts, especially the pyramid at the end,” said senior Brynna Childress.
The Battle Ground cheerleading team consists of Damien Armstrong, Hannah Buck, Childress, Hailey Defferding, Alex Diaz, Emma Dunkin, Austin Hicks, Foster Hiden, Spencer Inserra, Sydney Leckwold, Paydge Lind, Emily Meidinger, Malia Renfroe, Isabella Strano, Thompson and Trista Wambold. Kenny Larios is the coach.
The Tigers earned fourth place at state in 2018, which also took place in Battle Ground.
In order to get back to state this season, Larios said they had to score above a 59. Battle Ground qualified with a 60 at Heritage High School Dec. 15. A week before state, the Tigers earned a 62 at Curtis High School in University Place.
Battle Ground gets to host the state cheerleading championships for two more years.
“It’s big to host something like cheer state,” Larios said. “I hope these teams are still consistently happy with what Battle Ground has to offer them.