The Chemic Competitive Cheer team advanced to the Regional Round of the MHSAA tournament for the first time in school history by scoring 727.88 and finishing in 4th place at the District Meet at Grand Blanc on Saturday. The Chemics edged 5th place Oxford by just .42 point to earn the final regional qualifying spot.
Midland now advances to Hartland High School on Saturday, February 29th to compete with seven other qualifiers. The top four teams in each of the remaining two regions will move on to the MHSAA state championship March 6-7.
Coach Ben Fuller and the members of the team responded to some questions posed by Chemics.net shortly after their tournament.
Q1. This cheer season has produced an all-time high score, a best ever (2nd) finish at the SVL meet, and now a Regional Qualifier. Did you know this was in the cards for 2020 back when practice started in November?
Coach Ben: I did, this team had crazy potential and was filled with talent from the beginning, and I knew we could go places.
- At the beginning of the season we made a goal chart. One of our top goals of the season was to place 2nd at the SVL, and we did that. After breaking so many school records we believed that if we put our minds to it, we could accomplish our goal of going to regionals.
- Honestly I had no clue I knew this season was going to be good but I never knew the hard work and dedication we got out of the girls all season and I definitely had a very good feeling about districts
- Yes! We knew that we were definitely regional contenders coming into this season and it was a huge goal for the team
- Yes, we did! During our first week of practice, we all established team goals that we wanted to set for ourselves. We made posters and every time we hit our goal we crossed out wherever we wrote it!
- I knew that we would have a small chance at making to regionals because I knew that our program was growing and becoming better than ever but I knew we would really have to fight for a spot.
- I knew right after our first comp that we had the ability to win. It started off rocky but it all worked out in the end!
Q2: Like all team sports, the athletes on Competitive Cheer teams must be on the same page to be successful. Describe your team’s chemistry and how it has contributed to success this season?
Coach Ben: When we were approaching the last few competitions of the season our team really came together and I think us being one united team and us all fighting for the same goal really helped us reach our goal of making it to regionals.
- We worked together and didn’t let anything get in the way. Girls quitting, injuries, and girls not coming back from sideline, we pushed through to make history for Midland High. Nothing could stop our energy we had, nothing could get in the way of our goals, we wanted something bad and we pushed for it.
- We all have to be perfectly in sync so we have to have chemistry in order for the sport to work we all help teach and help each other be our best, there’s also a lot of trust involved with cheer because we have to hold each other up in the air.
- Our team is very close knit and we’re like a family. We do have bad days sometimes but in the end we make it a point to lift each other up.
Q3: After last season, your team was just on the verge of breaking through as one of the top teams in the SVL and the district. What specific skills did you need to work on to make the leap to the top tier?
Coach Ben: We needed to get more cheerleaders with consistent back tucks (a standing back flip) and more focus and drive.
- We needed more advanced skills, stronger stunting, and just a family.
- Our tumbling has improved so much from the previous year which I believe made the biggest difference. Last year we were a solid team, it was just our limited tumbling skills that held us back from truly reaching that higher level, so this year we really kicked it into high gear and worked at our weaknesses in that area and I think it definitely paid off.
- It was mostly mental stuff, and just telling ourselves that we are capable of great things! We built up our confidence, and grew strong bonds with each other. Physical wise, we started spending more time in the weight room, and doing more at home conditioning. It’s really great seeing the results, and being overwhelmed by your own strength! We’ll be throwing up stunts easily that we struggled on years ago. It just goes to show that if you put your mind to it, then you’re capable!
Q4: To what are you most looking forward at the MHSAA Regional round of competition?
Coach Ben: I’m looking forward to an experience no other cheerleader from Midland High has ever experienced before, I’m also excited to have one more opportunity to see what this team can achieve!
- I’m most looking forward to ending my senior year on a high note. We’ve worked so hard to get to this point, so now we can just enjoy ourselves and perform one last time together as a team.
- I am looking forward to just being in the new environment, and seeing teams that are just as good as us, if not better. I’m excited for everyone to see that midland high varsity cheer is here, and we’re coming!! And, I’m also excited to buy a shirt.
- Being able to compete against much harder teams and being able to learn more from them and apply that to next year to become an even better team.
- I’m looking forward to walking into the school knowing we made history; that we are the first group of Midland High cheerleaders who have gone this far with an amazing coach like Ben is!