The Marble Falls High School cheerleaders made school history with a top-five finish at the University Interscholastic League’s state cheerleading championships. Courtesy photo
The Marble Falls High School cheerleaders snagged fifth place in the University Interscholastic League’s Spirit State Championships in the Class 5A Division II category. The event was Jan. 13-15 in Fort Worth.
The No. 5 spot was the best-ever finish for a Marble Falls squad. The 2017-18 group placed eighth.
“They knew they were talented,” said coach Lauren Berkman about this year’s squad. “They buckled down and got going and didn’t fumble the routine. They did it for each other.”
The state contest has two rounds: preliminaries and finals. In the first round, squads perform three types of cheers in succession: a band chant to get the crowd involved, a cheer with signs and prompts, and a fight song.
Marble Falls placed 16th in its division’s prelims Jan. 14 then had to wait several hours before the finals.
In the finals, squads perform the same three cheers as in prelims plus a fourth one based on a situation in a football game, such as a team needing a defensive stop or to get a first down. Squads don’t know the scenario until they get on stage.
Berkman credited the Marble Falls seniors for keeping their teammates, many of them freshmen, focused on the task at hand.
“The seniors are a super-talented group,” she said. “Our 11 seniors really took a leadership role and pushed their teammates in practices and the day of the competition. We didn’t do as well in the prelims. We had little bobbles. Those little mistakes can be costly for scoring. When we found out we were going to make the finals, we practiced and made adjustments on routines.”
Berkman also was grateful to the parents and fans who traveled to the competition and participated in the chants. She said it meant so much to hear “cheers for the ones who lead the cheers.”
“It’s special for (the cheerleaders). I have no words,” she said. “They still continue to support us even though it’s been a tough season. It’s been really nice to have so much support.”
Rounding out the top five were state champion Crandall, runner-up San Antonio Alamo Heights and then Lucas Lovejoy and Katy Jordan.