Cheer team loaded with seniors, gunning for state finals

Bottom row from left: Allexa Nieves, Chloe Hall, Gabi Stublensky, Skylar Saferian, Brooklyn Muscarella, Mia Mayes and Serena Wilber. Second row: Sophia Paese, Anne Cobble, Victoria Huntsman, Allison Zardus, Kylie Childers, Olivia Conklin, Jiselle Lanza and Laura Vokes.Third row: Coach Kelly Westbrook, Caylee Campbell, Payton Warren, Becca Smiles, Paige Griffith, Cassie Darling, Diana Manaila, Gabby Salas and Coach Alanna Weber. Fourth row: Hailey Hodges, Ashley Archer, Gabbi Rastigue, Skylar Enyart, Brenna Maurer, Ali Warzecha, Addie Matz, Sera Weaver. Not pictured: Layla Cypher. Photo by Visual Sports Network.
Bottom row from left: Allexa Nieves, Chloe Hall, Gabi Stublensky, Skylar Saferian, Brooklyn Muscarella, Mia Mayes and Serena Wilber. Second row: Sophia Paese, Anne Cobble, Victoria Huntsman, Allison Zardus, Kylie Childers, Olivia Conklin, Jiselle Lanza and Laura Vokes.Third row: Coach Kelly Westbrook, Caylee Campbell, Payton Warren, Becca Smiles, Paige Griffith, Cassie Darling, Diana Manaila, Gabby Salas and Coach Alanna Weber. Fourth row: Hailey Hodges, Ashley Archer, Gabbi Rastigue, Skylar Enyart, Brenna Maurer, Ali Warzecha, Addie Matz, Sera Weaver. Not pictured: Layla Cypher. Photo by Visual Sports Network.

They haven’t started their season yet, but their coaches already see a world of potential.

Nearly doubling its size from last season, Oxford’s competitive cheer team is welcoming 31 girls this winter, 17 of whom are seniors.

“We have really big goals for this team,” Head Coach Alanna Weber said.

In their competitions, the ladies take on three rounds that evaluate individual skills as well as a group routine. Right now, Weber and assistant coach Kelli Westbrook are working on building those individual skills with the athletes.

“We’re learning the rounds (for competition) and placing the girls where they can do the best in each round,” Westbrook said. “It’s been busy and it’s been crazy so far with 31 athletes, but the girls are so talented. This group of girls really works well together.”

Weber and Westbrook are hopeful this team can go the distance. They’ll be counting on the seniors on the squad for leadership and bringing the heat during competitions.

“Our first goal is to win our OAA title for the white (division),” Weber said. “Our biggest competition will be Troy this year, and we’ll be looking to place in the top four of both districts and regionals so we can get to state finals, which hasn’t happened since 2007.”

Their theme this year is “tradition starts now” and, with a new coaching staff and revitalized team, they are hoping to start some traditions for the program this season.

“We just really want to bring back tradition, really freshen up the program and start to make a difference,” Westbrook said. “I think we’ve already started to do that.”

The Wildcat cheer team will take the mat for the first time this season on Friday, Dec. 7 at the CCCAA meet.

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