Words could not describe the feeling Shelby Fuhrman had as she heard Grain Valley’s name called as state champions at the 2010 Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association’s state competition.

Words could not describe the feeling Shelby Fuhrman had as she heard Grain Valley’s name called as state champions at the 2010 Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association’s state competition.

“We were a little nervous after our routine because we knew we could have done better,” said the Grain Valley senior. “But it felt awesome when we found out we were first. It was like all our hard work had paid off.”

Grain Valley joined the Blue Springs High School Coed team as state champions Saturday at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Grain Valley placed first in the 4 Large division and Blue Springs placed first in the Co-Ed Large Division. This is the second consecutive year that Grain Valley has won state and the ninth state title for Blue Springs. Grain Valley also tied with McDonald County for the highest score at the state competition.

Other teams to compete at state were William Chrisman, which placed fourth in the Class 5 Small Division and Blue Springs South, which placed eighth in the Class 5 Large Division. Truman and Lee’s Summit North also competed.

Although Fort Osage qualified for the state competition, because of injuries, the squad did not attend.

In order to qualify for state, teams must either place in the top five or receive at-large bids at the regional competition, which was in July at Lee’s Summit North. Routines for both regional and state must be at least two minutes long and no more than three minutes.

Squads are judged on cheering skills such as tumbling, stunts and jumps; spirit and energy; creativity; entertainment value; choreography; execution/synchronization and crowd leadership. The judging panel consists of five judges in addition to four penalty judges and one difficulty judge, all knowledgeable in cheerleading. Penalties are assessed from everything to missing a stunt, stepping out of bounds to going over the allotted time.

“I was beyond proud of their performance,” said Stephanie Peterman, coach of the Blue Springs Co-Ed Squad. “I think what hit me the most was the lack of any obvious mistakes. There were no bobbles or falls, and they executed a clean routine. There is nothing greater as a coach than to see your squad go out and rock the routine that you gave them and then leave the floor like they just won the lottery.”

Kristen Aston, coach for the Grain Valley squad, said she was proud of the hard work the girls have put in this year.

“We have high expectations for the girls, and they showed some really great moments in their routine,” she said. “We drive home the idea of commitment, dedication and hand work. We tell them that excuses do not make champions and that greatness does not happen by chance. You have to work for it.”
Brittany Brittingham, a senior on the Blue Springs squad, said she believes it was skill and teamwork that made the squad great this year.

“One of our top goals this year was to win state and we did that,” she said. “We did a great routine and made sure to stick all our stunts. We worked together well to accomplish this goal.”