Sports

Winter Preview: Wildcats seeking to repeat as state champions

Oak Harbor High School cheerleading coach Pam Headridge said the team has set two major goals for the season.

The first is repeating as state champions for the sixth straight year and the second is equaling the accomplishment of the 2006 team — winning the national championship.

Along the way, the team will be entered in five competitions starting with the Sequoia Invitational Jan. 12 in Kentwood and including the annual Spiritfest Feb. 9 at Oak Harbor High School.

This year, the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association state championship is March 22, two weeks after the USA National Championship scheduled for March 5 through 9 in Anaheim, Calif.

Last year the team went right from state competition, boarded an airplane and flew directly to California for the nationals.

“I think most everybody was asleep at the time,” Headridge said with a smile.

In her 18th season as the Wildcats’ coach, Headridge said there is a lot of talent on the team this year.

“We have 18 members and about 75 percent of them tumble. That makes it nice,” she said.

In addition to their own five competitions, the Wildcats cheer at all the boys and girls varsity basketball games and also at the varsity wrestling matches.

Headridge said this year’s team is led by captains Ashley Parish, Megan Rikard and Niki Sanders.

Parish and Sanders are seniors and Rikard is a sophomore.

“I would also like to recognize Ben Olson who has really stepped up for us,” Headridge said. “He is a senior and joined the program last year, and he can do all the stunts. We lost all our boys off last year’s team and Ben has really come through.”

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