Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

Green River's cheer champions


courtesy photo

Members of the Green River High School cheerleading squad display their trophies after competing at state in Casper.


Staff Writer

The Green River High School cheer squad are state champions. The Wyoming State Spirit Competition was March 9, and the Green River team came home with three trophies. Green River won first place in the cheer non-stunt division. They won second in girls-stunt division, and won third in the co-ed stunt division.

Every school in the state was represented at the state competition; 1A to 4A.

Green River competes in 4A, against other larger Wyoming cities like Cheyenne and Casper.

"The kids are a great group and amazing dedicated athletes, and we're proud of them and what they accomplished," head cheer coach Tim Chilcott said.

Green River entered the three divisions and practiced for more than a year on elements incorporated into their individual state routines, each lasting 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

"Two minutes 30 seconds of total chaos, organized chaos," Chilcott said.

The routines are judged by judges who are all from out-of-state. Green River took first in each category last year.

"It's hard to repeat winning everything," he said. "They did an awesome job. We left with more trophies than anybody, so."

Green River has been known as the powerhouse in cheerleading at state competitions for years, and that doesn't come easy. The cheer squad practices about 15-20 hours a week, amping that up come February, preparing for state.

This year, Green River amped up the difficulty in their routines. They added more tumbling and more difficult stunts.

This year they decided to perform stunts that involve more people. Whereas the stunt usually centers around the flyer, the one that is thrown in the air, they instead amped up the difficulty of the stunt with transitions made on the ground, flipping the flyer, turning the formation while the flyer is in the air.

The entire group was moving and changing, flipping, to emphasis the group strength and ability, as apposed to just one person.

"It's one thing to stand there and just have a girl stand there and do her thing, but it's a whole other thing to spin it around and rebuild it and have people executing different kinds of dismounts and things like that," he said. "It's hard."

Green River utilizes a lot more difficulty in their routines and stunts than most teams do at state.

Another way Green River's cheer squad differs from others around the state, is they like to utilize their boys.

"We involve our boys in everything," assistant coach Burgandy Schmitt said. "Some teams like to hide their boys, we like to flaunt them."

At state this year, Green River did a stunt toss in their co-ed group that no high school has ever done in the state of Wyoming before, Schmitt said.

The technique is a toss, to a one-handed cupie. The boy tosses a girl from the floor, straight up into one hand, and holds her up with one arm, Chilcott said.

Something that has never been done before at the high school level in the state of Wyoming, William Valdez executed this three times with flyer Abbie Atkinson. He held the cupie for two eight-counts with no support, balancing her in one hand with his arm extended. Meanwhile, she can't move at all.

The stunts Green River pulled off and successfully at that, are college-level stunts. Their high school kids achieved what some college teams' guys can't even complete, he said.

"We're blazing the trail again," Chilcott said.

"We could've gone into this year and did things simpler, and maybe won more first place trophies, but we've always tried to push them to the next level, so they're more prepared when they go to college. If they want to cheer, they can go in and step in anywhere."


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