Rah rah rah!

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  • Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald Members of the Moses Lake High School Coed Cheer Squad show off a portion of their routine after taking first place in the state cheerleading tournament last weekend.

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  • Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald Members of the Moses Lake High School Coed Cheer Squad show off a portion of their routine after taking first place in the state cheerleading tournament last weekend.

  • 1

MOSES LAKE — It’s official. For the second year in a row, the Moses Lake High School coed cheerleading squad is the best in the state.

“These are talented kids,” said cheer coach Mikey Carlile. “They have to be dedicated, they have to work hard, and they make a long commitment.”

“I’m really happy with this; they did a good job,” Carlile added.

The 15-member coed cheer squad traveled to Battle Ground High School last weekend and cheered their way to first place in the coed division, with a final score of 81.5 — five full points above the second place winner, Olympic High School in Bremerton.

“Our routine had to include opening jumps, a start sequence, a dance, running and tumbling, a cheer in the middle, and ending with a pyramid,” said senior Isabel Sica. “It’s two and a half minutes.”

“It doesn’t sound like a long time until you start doing it,” added senior Katelyn Carter.

The victory in Battle Ground means the Moses Lake team will head to Orlando, Fla. next week to take part in the national cheerleading championship, where 25,000 cheerleaders from across the country will gather to compete.

The squad has been practicing nearly every day of the week since September, honing their skills and their routine, hoping to do better at nationals than they did last year.

“We did not do as well as we could have,” said senior Riley Hake. “It was our first time, and we didn’t know what we were getting into.”

Which means they don’t get to rest much as they prepare for the national championship.

Carlile said the Chiefs cheerleaders will need to make sure they have a “clean routine” when they compete in Orlando.

“I hope to do better,” Carlile said. “Nationals is huge, with teams from big places where they have been cheering since they were in diapers. We’re going to do our best, but it’s a totally different world.”

Squad members were all looking forward to a week in Florida, competing, meeting other cheerleaders, and spending time at Disney World. They also believe the time and effort they have devoted to cheerleading has helped teach them something important.

“Teamwork, the value of working together,” Hake said. “And the value of hard work and dedication.”

“And how to hit your routine,” added senior Mario Yepiz.

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