By Reace Downing
The 2016-2017 OSSAA Regional Cheer competition took place on Saturday, Sept. 17, in four locations across Oklahoma, including one at Chickasha High School.
At Chickasha, a total of 34 teams were there, ranging from Class 2A to Class 5A, and Small CO-ED also competed. Of the 34 teams at the regional, 29 advanced to state, which will take place at Gallagher Arena in Stillwater, on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Regional competition differs from the next level in that each team is competing to achieve a predetermined score, whereas at state they compete against the other teams. Ultimately, every team is competing against itself. However, there is a Regional Champion per class.
A team has to reach a score of at least 225 of a possible 300 to advance to state. Five judges each compile a score of up to 100 based on 12 different categories. The highest and the lowest judges’ scores are dropped, leaving three judges’ scores.
If there is a tie, the teams with the highest and lowest scores are brought back in and added to act as a tie-breaker.
Hinton High School walked out with the Regional Champion title in Class 2A with a score of 266.
The rest were as follows: Elmore City-Pernell 248, Crescent 246, Wynnewood 243, Frederick 239, Hooker 229, and Allen 225.
Class 4A ended with Tuttle High School and Community Christian High School tying with a score of 253. The highest and lowest judges’ scores were added back into these, allowing Tuttle High School to walk away with the Champion title by two points.
Behind Tuttle and Community Christian trailed Blanchard High School at 243, Marlow 241, Weatherford, 236, and Plainview with 231 points.
This year was Plainview’s first year to make it past the regional level and coach Wendy Russell was ecstatic.
“I’m extremely proud of my squad,” Russell said.
“They have worked so hard for three years to qualify for state. It’s a new chapter in Plainview’s history. Everyone is so happy and excited.”
In the 5A class, Carl Albert High School took the title home with a score of 268.
Following was Bishop McGuinness with 266, Altus 256, Piedmont 252, Lawton Eisenhower 251, Chickasha and Elgin tied at 248, and Shawnee 233.
This was an entertaining group to watch. The routines are sharp, the tumbling is clean, and the stunts fly high.
Ending the competition was the Small CO-ED division. Newcastle won the title with a score of 267. Sulphur came in second with 254 and Oklahoma Christian trailed close behind with 252. Next were Pauls Valley at 251, Harding Fine Arts 249, Bridge Creek 239, Cache 236, and Little Axe with a score of 228.
State competition, with the finalists from this region and the three other regions, begins on Saturday at 11 a.m. on the campus of Oklahoma State University.