Fluco cheer team takes second place

By Duncan Nixon, Correspondent

There were 90 athletes competing in the Jefferson District competition cheer contest at Monticello High on Wednesday (Oct. 17). The Flying Flucos fielded a team of 16. First year Coach Cheryl Koltz’s squad consisted of freshmen Evie Benson, Jada Morton, and Laryssa Coleman; sophomores Carolina Gomez, Ellie Miles, Addison Roth, Madeline Scopelliti, and Rebecca Taylor; juniors Logan Brophy, Kirsten Estes, Amy Hughes, Malena Stallard, Destiney Thomas and Amina Wilson; and seniors Caroline Haislip and Paige Tomaras. Klotz, who teaches at the middle school, is assisted by Taylor Aylor.

Competition cheer is in many ways the ultimate team sport. There is no two homerun game or three touchdown game to draw all the press coverage. In this sport, every member of the team must perform in unison and without error. If a high flyer looks great in the air, but the catch is botched, the whole team suffers as one. If one performer doesn’t exactly understand the dance routine, the whole team suffers.  The key to success is for every athlete to perform his or her role as perfectly as possible.

At this competition, six cheer squads from Jefferson District schools competed. Each team performs its own specially designed routine.  Koltz said that the elements of the competition are elite stunts, pyramids, jumps, tumbling and dance. The Fluco team performed third out of the six squads and their level of coordination was very impressive. The team also had more performers doing tumbling routines than the teams that performed ahead of them.

The competition is actually very brief but very intense. The teams spent a tremendous amount of time preparing for competition and have only one chance to perform. No do-overs allowed. The judging of the competition is, of course, subjective, much like ice skating, but the judges are clearly extremely serious about their business and take time making sure of their ratings. Accordingly, there is a serious amount of time between the end of the final performance and the announcement of the results.

During this waiting period the entire 90-athlete contingent gathered on the mats in the center of the gym and danced together to music blaring over the loudspeaker system. It was a joyful scene for the large crowd of fans, mostly parents, grandparents and siblings, with a smattering of friends.

Tension descended over the gym when the results were finally about to be announced. The officials noted that only the top two teams would be identified. Second place was announced first and when the Fluvanna name was called the Fluco squad exploded with excitement. Second place was a huge accomplishment, justifying hours and hours of practice. First place went to the Louisa Lions squad.

The Fluco competition cheer squad will next perform at the regional competition at Broadway High on Oct. 27.

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