By Jeff Harrison
Carl Albert High School showed plenty of spirit last weekend in a brand new cheerleading competition.
The Titan cheer team finished runner-up in the inaugural OSSAA Game Day Cheer Championships Saturday at Moore High School.
Bishop Kelley won the state title in Class 5A with 86 points. Carl Albert was runner-up with 79.25 followed by Guymon with 79 points.
“We are so proud of this team. We came into this competition creating a routine based on a piece of paper and no prior knowledge. The team worked tirelessly to perfect this routine. Deonne King,
Ciara Crooks and Kris Lowrie helped to coach the team this year. I’m so thankful for them,” said Carl Albert coach Katrina Coulson.
The new Game Day Cheer Competition challenges teams to showcase their best sideline and cheerleading routine. Teams were judged on crowd leading, band dance and fight song.
“Game Day is based on what you would see on the sidelines at a football game to ramp the crowd up,” Coulson said. “Our team loves it and can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Coulson said the team chose to focus on game day, which offers a more traditional approach to the sport than competitive cheerleading. The team excelled in competitive cheer in the past, winning its 15th state title last year.
“We decided for this year to focus back on the basics and real reasoning behind cheerleading,” Coulson said. “We had become more of a competitive team than the spirit of the school. Doing a
game day competition brought back the real reason the team was designed.”
The team has three seniors in Sophie Fry, Crystanie Long and Joely Smith and eight new members this year. Last year, they had nine seniors.
The OSSAA Competitive Cheer competitions begins this weekend with regionals. The state competition is Sept. 23 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.
While Carl Albert will not participate in the competitive cheer state, they will compete in stunt this spring.
“Last year, we competed in stunt and really enjoyed the new cheer games,” Coulson said. “The team will use technique, skill and synchronization to win the game.”