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Badger cheer wins two bids to state

Staff Writer | February 2, 2023 1:00 AM

SPIRIT LAKE — Badger cheerleading is heading to the state tournament and will compete in show and stunt routines on Feb. 10, after winning these categories at districts.

On Jan. 28, Bonners Ferry competed against Timberlake in the district competition in four routines. The Badgers fell to the Tigers by two-and-a-half points, 175.5 to 178. The Badgers aren’t district champions but still have two bids to the state competition.

Bonners Ferry cheer coach Christian “Chris” Gaffield said the girls “killed” their routines.

“They gave it all they had and knew everything was on the line,” she said. “Stunts went up for the most part. We had a few boobles, but we came back and did it again.”

She added that the cheer team was running on no sleep, since they performed at Timberlake for the Backwoods Brawl the night before.

The Badgers pom and show routines will be ready for the state competition.

She said the team's sideline routine could have used more work. The Badgers received a few point deductions from the judges. Gaffield said the deductions were arguable due to the lightning speed of the girls can make it difficult to see what is happening.

“Something a move can look illegal or that something a mistake was made,” she said. “[When in doubt] judges keep safety first.”

Only Badger cheerleader members of the show and stunt routines and alternates will advance to state. Other athletes will have to wait until next year, or will be graduating and retiring their Badger career.

At state, the Badgers will be facing tough competition as many schools have elementary level feeder programs and college programs in the area.

Gaffield said cheer is a competitive world and every team is willing to do what it takes to win.

“We have the love of the game, but don’t have the feeder programs or facilities that allow multiple teams to practice at the same time,” she said. “It is hard to practice with only a 10-foot ceiling and then compete with a 50-foot ceiling.”

She said safety is the biggest concern and at competitions girls are throwing girls higher than at practice.

“These girls have their hearts in it. Win or lose they are gonna leave it all on the mat, knowing they did their best,” she said.

The Badger cheer program is growing and this is the first year the Badgers have competed since 2019 and their last trip to state was in 2017.