The Marriotts Ridge cheerleading team had its best performance when it mattered most.
Head coach Sugene Shin said her Mustangs performed a “perfect routine” to win the Class 1A/2A state championship — the first state title in program history.
“Words can’t describe how happy and proud and excited I am. Today was honestly the best they’ve ever performed the routine,” Shin said. “We had a rough practice week all week. I think the girls were tired. But we just kept practicing, and I told them yesterday that even though practices haven’t been going as well as we hoped they would, I knew they’d hit the routine. They pushed and focused and had a perfect routine.”
Shin said the season hasn’t been the easiest. Even though the squad accomplished the ultimate goal, the early months had ups and downs. However, the girls persevered, Shin said, to put together an excellent postseason run.
“This season has been the rockiest since I’ve been here,” said Shin. “I kept switching up the routine, because I knew it didn’t feel right. But we finally finalized the routine, and the girls perfected it, and now we get to say we’re state champs.”
Shin was quick to commend her senior class, including captains Kristen Trainer, Andie Batten and Emma Clarke, for their leadership this season.
“My seniors, they’re very grounded,” Shin said. “They don’t act their age. They’re very mature and calm and understanding. The seniors really helped getting the team to focus.”
The state crown comes a week after the Mustangs accomplished another first for the program — a regional championship. Marriotts Ridge won the 1A/2A West region title on Nov. 2 to advance to the state meet.
The state championship is the latest accomplishment from Marriotts Ridge athletics this fall. The girls soccer and football teams both won at least a share of its respective county championships. The football team also earned a first-round victory over Atholton on Friday. Meanwhile, the field hockey team won its first state championship on Saturday after a rollercoaster postseason.
The Marriotts Ridge cheer team won the 2019 Howard County fall cheerleading championship.
“It’s great,” Shin said. “The amount our teams have grown has been great. I think Mustangs athletics is just going to grow from here and continue winning. I’m hopeful Marriotts Ridge will be that school that everyone knows will be a competitor in all sports.”
The other members of the Mustangs’ state championship-winning squad are: Ademilola Adeyemo, Cloe Altenburg, Elizabeth Choi, Melissa Kressen, Kara Lee, Madison Matlock, Kaitlyn McDonald, Alexa Mulroe, Tess Parks, Alexa Pastras, Brooke Rosewag, Camryn Sanschagrin, Molly Stump, Victoria Vandenberge and Rowan Vessey.