Category Archives: spiritline

State cheerleading finals

The state cheerleading finals will take place this Saturday, January 30, at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.  The 4A/5A finals will take place between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the the 1A/3A competition will start at 5:30 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m.   A schedule of the finals and a list of the teams participating can be found here.

One of the teams participating will be the defending state champion Mountain View Toros, whom we featured in this blog last September.

Admission to the state cheerleading finals is $8 for adults and $6 for students with a student ID card.  An all-day pass, which gives you the ability to re-enter the arena, is $15. Make sure to dress warmly.  Because it is hockey season, the temperature inside Tim’s Toyota Center will be kept between 62 and 70 degrees to preserve the ice. If you cannot make it to Prescott Valley this Saturday, you may watch the cheerleading competitions live here — 4A/5A and 1A/3A.

If you have a young daughter or know of a young girl who is interested in taking up cheerleading, you should view Vicki Balint’s video about American Elite Cheer in Scottsdale.   — Dan Barr

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It takes more than spirit

Seven members of the Mountain View High School Spiritline.

Seven members of the Mountain View High School spiritline.

“It’s not Marcia Brady’s cheerleading anymore.”

That’s what Dannis Zazueta, head coach for the Mountain View High School spiritline told me at Friday night’s football game. The Mountain View cheer and pom squads are the current Arizona 5A state champions and have had an excellent cheer program for years. “A lot of these girls have wanted to be Toro cheerleaders since they were little girls,” Zazueta said.

Nearly 400,000 boys and girls currently participate in high school cheering nationwide, according to a recent survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations. That works out to about 21 cheerleaders at every high school that participated in the survey.

Cheerleading is far more demanding, both athletically and in time commitment required, than it was a generation ago. The Mountain View cheerleaders practice from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, followed by weight training during the school’s second hour.

“These girls are all top athletes,” Zazueta said. Most, if not all, of the Mountain View cheerleaders are accomplished gymnasts or dancers. The girls are also tough. Cheerleading has the highest rate of injuries of any high school sport. Higher than football, basketball, soccer or anything else you could think of.

Providing a spiritline at football games is only part of what these girls do.  At state and national competitions they perform routines that are far more intricate and physically demanding than anything they do on the sidelines of a football field. This year’s Arizona Spiritline State Championship will be on January 30, 2010 at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. The national championship will take place at Disneyland in March.

“What else should people know about cheerleading?” I asked Zazueta.

“Most of our girls are on honor roll and at the top of their class,” the coach said proudly. — Dan Barr