First year competitive cheer squad, Cheer Empire, won second place Sunday, Nov. 22 at the Rock the Harvest competition at Oklahoma City University.
Cheer Empire is a competitive cheer squad from Bartlesville, and this is the first year Bartlesville has had a competitive squad. At contest, the squads are judged based on their stunts, jumps, body positions, difficulty and more.
The squad has 16 girls; 15 of them competed at this competition. Three BHS students are on the squad: Kyla Gomez, Kylee Shaft and Taylor Beets. It is coached by Amber Taylor and Todd Edwards.
“We started the squad because cheerleading is awesome and Bartlesville needed a squad,” co-coach Amber Taylor said.
The squad practices three to four days a week for several hours, all to perfect a two and a half minute routine. Both the girls and the coaches have worked hard to perfect their routine.
“They’re perfection… I feel amazed.” Taylor said. “They have succeeded every expectation that I had.”
However, their performance had a few glitches. The music that accompanies their routine was off and there were some technical difficulties that caused the girls to have to perform a second time.
“I’m very proud of them,” co-coach Todd Edwards said. “With the technical difficulties and it being their first time cheering at competition, I don’t think they could have done better.”
Winning second place earned Cheer Empire a bid to the US Worlds Championship in Orlando this upcoming April, but the team needs to place at another competition to be able to go.
“The hardest part is seeing them and not being able to give them what they want,” Edwards said. “They want to win but they are new and they will have to work up to that. It’s hard not being able to give them that now. I didn’t think they’d touch my heart as much as they have, I didn’t anticipate that. Watching the girls develop and grow both in cheerleading and life, to see them work hard and earn what they work for is the best part.”
Rock the Harvest was a competition hosted by Rockstar Championships; they offered a discount to spectators that brought canned goods.
“This year was the largest the event had ever been with it having over 60 performances and around 700 athletes,” Rockstar Championships representative David Owens said. “I believe we were able to gather over 1,000 lbs of canned goods for the Oklahoma Food Bank from yesterday’s event as well as give $1,800 to our charity partner, Chive Charities, all because of our awesome athletes and spectators.”
The girls will be competing again on Dec. 12 and 13 at the GOLD Tulsa Championship at the Cox Business Center.
“The fact that they took that adversity and overcame it…” Edwards said. “I think they’ve learned a life lesson here today.”