A year earlier than expected, the Coupeville High School cheer team left its mark at the Washington state championships.
The Wolves placed third in the 1A game day small division Saturday, Feb. 2, at Battle Ground High School.
Oak Harbor also had a strong showing, finishing fourth in the 3A/4A non-tumbling small division.
Coupeville has not fielded a competition team since 2011, and new coach BreAnna Boon planned for the team to “get its feet wet” at a few events this year and “go full force” for a state berth in 2020.
“As a team, we decided our only goal was just to better ourselves throughout the season,” Boon said. “State was never even a thought in our heads, because this season was just supposed to be an introduction to competition.”
Most teams begin priming for state in early summer and by attending summer camp, but Coupeville got a late start because Boon wasn’t hired until mid August.
“I told them that if they wanted to do comp, they were gonna have to learn quickly, work hard, while still supporting the school sports,” she said. “They rose to that challenge with great enthusiasm. Cheerleading is always first about supporting the
sports within the school, and competition is an added bonus.
“I feel, if you make it seem like your team is only focused on competition, you lose the core value of what cheerleading is really about. We want our school, community and island to know that we want to set the example of what leadership, sportsmanship and school spirit looks like.”
Senior captain Julie Bacio said, “Every week we changed the routine to something completely different. We never gave up and that attitude is what got us to state. I’m super proud of us. Definitely a great ending to my senior year.”
Coupeville’s North Sound Conference dominated the competition. League members Sultan and Cedar Park Christian finished ahead of the Wolves. Meridian was fourth.
“Getting third place at a state competition my first year at CHS and my first year as a competition coach has just been unbelievable,” Boon said. “I want the kids to enjoy this moment and be proud of the hard work they put in.
“I am only their coach; they have to chose to put in the work. They made the choice to come to practice, work together and become stronger every day. These kids are just an unbelievable group. They have accomplished more than any of us have even imagined.”
No details on Oak Harbor’s efforts at state were submitted.