Rochester cheer team places 2nd at State Finals


Edgar Sokoli

On March 6, the Rochester Varsity cheer team traveled to the DeltaPlex to compete for an 18th state championship.

“The DeltaPlex is my favorite place to compete,” senior Sam Shah said. “I like how big it is, and how different it feels from a regular gymnasium. I’m sure it sounds weird, but it feels like we have a certain presence there.”

Before qualifying for the 8-team state final, the cheer team had its fair share of obstacles.

“We overcame many struggles throughout the season after consistently getting fourth place due to dropped stunts in round 3,” Shah said. “We knew we needed to make a change.”

After a slow start to their season, the cheer team began to gain momentum, including sweeping the Rochester Invitational hosted at RHS. They then went on to place first at Districts and Regionals to earn a spot at the State Finals in Grand Rapids.

“Competing at States was more than exhilarating,” Shah said. “It was the last time I’ll ever wear princess Reeboks, a bow in my hair and a Rochester uniform. I managed to be lost in the moment.”

Senior Erica Lazzarini is on the same page as Shah, acknowledging that competing at the State Finals was a once in a lifetime event.

“That whole week building up to states all I could think about was the fact that we had a high possibility of being State champs,” Lazzarini said. “This was the seniors’ last time they’d ever compete and for everyone else, the last time we’d all come together as a team.”

Rochester led the competition after round one, and dropped to second after round two. The deficit would prove too much for Rochester to come back from, placing 2nd to Grandville.

“We had blatant mistakes and failed to have the perfect performance,” Shah said. “We definitely have things to be proud of from our performance and moving forward I think we need to focus on the positive aspects of that day.”

Lazzarini agrees.

“We cannot complain with the results and are still very proud of one another,” Lazzarini said.