FHS Cheer team places 13th in State Championships


Jordan Maciel, Co-Editor in Chief

For the first time ever, the FHS Cheer Team performed in the 2022 UIL Spirit State Championships on January 13.

After advancing from the first preliminary round they team continued on to the finals and placed in the top 20 teams in the 3A Division 1 group. They placed 18th out of 38 competing teams. Only the top 20 teams in the preliminary round advanced to the final round of the competition.

“When we advanced to the finals round, I just told them to have fun and leave it all out on that stage,” cheer coach Rebecca said, “and that’s exactly what they did! It was a great day to be a Fairfield Eagle!”

The cheer team started to learn routines back in July of 2021, however they did not begin having dedicated practices with the competition team until October of 2021.

“As a coach, I expected the team to try their best and have fun during the competition,” Watson said. “They are an extremely hard-working and talented group of young women and they exceeded my expectations.”

From November until January, Mrs. Watson held mandatory practices once a week lasting 2 hours long each. Adding on to their regular practices; over the winter break they had two more to keep them in shape and to finish perfecting their routine.

“Practices were hard,” senior captain Audrie Archibald said, “but the win made all the extra time and work worth it.”

After running the routine full out Watson split the team up into groups to work on their individual portion of the routine. Many times she would ask groups to perform in front of the rest of the team and give each other feedback on what to work on and improve upon for each portion of the routine.

“This peer evaluation really helped them bond because they were working together to get it as clean as possible,” Watson said. “Underclassmen received pointers and feedback from upperclassmen and vice versa.”

At the end of each practice, Watson timed the cheerleaders as they packed up all of their equipment; however long they took that would be the amount of sprints they would do for conditioning.

“This helped the team become more conditioned so that we were able to have more endurance during the 3-minute competition routine so that we weren’t so out of breath” Watson said

After conditioning, Watson ended practice on a positive note, with stretches and positive things that happened during practice. As well as things that could be improved.

“Overall, this really helped each athlete to be more aware of what they could do to help each other,” Watson said

Before their competition they held a show-off performance for the public in the maroon gym after the basketball game on January 11th, just two days prior to their competition.

“I think this public performance helped us to be better prepared for the competition,” Watson said, “because it gave us a chance to perform in front of other people before we went to perform in front of the judges at competition.”

Mrs. Watson plans to make this competition a priority every year.

“I expect great things for next year and hope to return to the state competition once again.” Watson said “We have the potential to advance to the finals round at state next year as well.

Those who competed are as followed: senior captain Audrey Archibald, senior co-captain Makensy Isaacs, senior Mattie Hagen, senior Jaysa Smith, junior Hannah Johnson, junior Trinity Little, sophomore Linsy Cockerell, sophomore Marissa Eppes, sophomore Emma Jo Smith, freshman Addison Bailes, freshman Carolyn Dunlap, freshman Makenna Eppes, freshman Rylie Longer, freshman Reese White, freshman Alexis Woodruff, and junior Mascot Riley Ralstin.

“I am very proud of our team,” Archibald said, “This was first year that we have been able to compete at this competition, and I think as a whole we did exceptionally well.”