Minot High’s cheer team prepares for the fall state competition

Justin Martinez/MDN The Minot High varsity cheer team practices its routine at Central Campus High School Thursday in preparation for Saturday's North Dakota Cheer Coach Association (NDCCCA) State Fall Cheer Competition in Fargo.

After cheering on other teams all year, it’s time for the Minot High School cheer team to take center stage.

Minot High is heading to Fargo North High School this afternoon to compete in the North Dakota Cheer Coach Association (NDCCCA) State Fall Cheer Competition. This is the first of two events this season that the team competes in, and excitement amongst the girls is at an all-time high.

“This is (the girls’) favorite time of the year,” MHS varsity team head coach Sarah Seney said. “This is their time to shine, so they get to show off all the work they’ve put in.”

The competition features 20 Class A and Class B teams who will be competing for titles in five events.

First is the Competition Routine, which is a 2.5 minute routine containing jumps, cheers, tumbling and stunts. Second is the Time-out Routine, a one-minute competition for crowd leading and spirit. Third is a stunt team event, which consists of five cheerleaders performing continuous stunts for one minute. The fourth and fifth events are an individual jump-off and an individual all-around competition.

A total of 39 cheerleaders are set to compete on two teams for Minot High School. The varsity team will have as many as 26 girls on the mat at once, making it one of the largest teams that’ll be at the competition.

With so many girls involved in the routine, communication and timing will be crucial.

“It’s definitely a challenge getting 26 girls to be in sync all the time,” Seney said. “Just the numbers alone make it difficult, but hopefully everything goes well.”

The Minot High cheer program has thrived on the big stage over the years. Minot has won 12 team state titles, and the group hopes to add to that total this weekend.

After placing fourth in last year’s fall competition and third in last year’s winter completion, the group has appropriately naming this year’s fall run as, “Going for the gold.”

“Our last competitions have been a bit of a struggle in the sense that we haven’t placed as well as we’ve wanted to,” Seney said. “So, this year, we’re really pushing for not just first place, but for the girls to perform to the best of their abilities.”

The group is fully prepared to make that goal a reality, as it’s been practicing nearly every day since August. Minot High will also have plenty of support from the same people it’s been supporting all year.

The group has gotten countless compliments on its routines from the Minot High football team throughout the Magi’s season and tons of support from fellow students during pep rallies as well.

For the girls on the cheer team, those signs of appreciation are everything.

“The support around school has been awesome,” Seney said. “It really means the world to them. Just getting a simple ‘thank you’ is huge, and they really appreciate it.”

Doors to the fall state cheer competition at Fargo North High School open at 10:30 a.m. The competition begins at 11:00 a.m.

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.