17 squads cheer each other on to new heights
By DAVID EDGE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 22, 2020
WIESBADEN, Germany – Clay Kaserne Fitness Center was turned into a loud and boisterous spirit-filled atmosphere Saturday as 17 cheer squads from across DODEA-Europe competed in the 25th Annual Cheer Tournament.
Division I was action packed, Wiesbaden and defending champions Stuttgart were favored to snatch the crown, but it was Ramstein squad that would take the title.
“I feel like we have been the underdogs for so long, it felt like we had to put in more work to get the same respect as some of the other squads,” team captain Samantha Sonka said. “We were willing to put in the work and it totally paid off for us.”
Division II came down to which squad could land a clean performance. When four-time defending champion Rota hit the mat, the Admirals knew that they just needed to be clean and they would be crowned for the fifth straight time.
“There was so much work. We practice six times and on Saturdays we have two or three practices,” team captain Savannah Matteson said. “We put a lot of effort practicing over two hours a day with a lot of blood sweat and tears.”
The competition started with a bang, as the Division III squads hit the mat to prove that their small cheer squads could rock the crowd. Two-time Division III runner-up Spangdahlem finally took the top spot with a clean and energy-packed performance.
“Coming here we had so much doubt in ourselves, we have a new coach and only four returning members, we really were not expecting to win,” co-captain Ashton Abernathy said. “It was just unreal to hear Spangdahlem’s name be called as the winner.”