Sports

Spartans return from camp with something to cheer about

The Bainbridge High School Cheer Squad is, in front, Emily Schneider, Madison Agosta and Ally Clement; and in back, Bailey Starbuck, Skye Levari, Isabelle DeVeaux, Leah Nordberg, Eryn McCassey, Maxsena Butler, Olivia Allbritton, Mary Boynton, Ariana Felkey, Chloe Simon, Elaina Holloway, Katja Tunkkari and Hannah Masters. The Spartans’ head coach is Katie Leigh; assistant coach is Tawnya Jackson.  - Photo courtesy of Katie Leigh
The Bainbridge High School Cheer Squad is, in front, Emily Schneider, Madison Agosta and Ally Clement; and in back, Bailey Starbuck, Skye Levari, Isabelle DeVeaux, Leah Nordberg, Eryn McCassey, Maxsena Butler, Olivia Allbritton, Mary Boynton, Ariana Felkey, Chloe Simon, Elaina Holloway, Katja Tunkkari and Hannah Masters. The Spartans’ head coach is Katie Leigh; assistant coach is Tawnya Jackson.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Katie Leigh

The fall sports season hasn’t even started and the Spartans are already celebrating a team chocked with championship talent.

The Bainbridge High School cheerleaders were recognized as one of the top teams in the Universal Cheerleaders Association’s cheer camp at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma earlier this month.

For the third year in a row, the squad took first place for their “Home Pom” routine.

The team was also awarded a “Superior” award for winning blue ribbons on every evaluation during the camp, plus notched a third-place finish in Xtreme Routine and Cheer.

The Spartans also earned the “Top Banana” award for being the most spirited squad at camp.

And on the individual level, four Bainbridge cheerleaders — Emily Schneider, Ally Clement, Leah Nordberg and Olivia Allbritton — received All-American honors. Teammate Ariana Felkey was named the Pin it Forward winner.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Spartan head coach Katie Leigh said of the Home Pom win. “The girls worked their tales off to make it happen.”

The camp is essential for setting the right tone for the year, she added.

“One of the main things is they come together as squad,” she said. “They are spending three days completely isolated together, and they have to work through some things.

“It gets tiring and frustrating and it’s emotional,” Leigh said, adding that the team stayed positive throughout the whole camp and got to know each other better.

“I was really proud of them,” she said, noting that only half of the squad are veterans of last year’s varsity team.

“Most of them had cheered before, but only half had been to a camp. For them to have so much energy and positive attitude and work through everything so well, it was pretty awesome to watch.”

The team learned a variety of new stunts at the camp, including one with a flip, as well as dance routines.

Schneider, a co-captain of the squad with Ally Clement, said the team rebounded from a shaky start.

“The first day I think we were all a little surprised and I think nervous to be there. It didn’t go as well as Ally and I wanted,” Schneider said. “The second day, everyone just really worked hard and we got the results we wanted, which was awesome.”

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