After bringing home another Class AAA Region 4 championship last Saturday at Spring Valley the Logan High School cheerleaders are headed back to the state tournament.
Logan blew away the competition at the regionals, beating Winfield which was a distant second. Host Spring Valley was far behind in third place.
“We won by 39 points,” Logan coach Michelle Akers said on Sunday. “That’s a lot in cheerleading. That’s a whole lot in cheerleading. A month ago we really didn’t even know if we were going to be able to make it to regionals because we had so many injuries. For this team to pull it together and succeed as well as they did is just amazing. We wanted to go and win first place but our goal was to make it to state but when they put that performance together and won by that many it was just a great day.”
The Logan cheerleaders hope to improve on last year’s showing in which the squad was the Class AAA runner-up. Logan was the 3A state champion in 2009 and went into a rebuilding mode the next year.
Akers said Logan is poised to do well at the state tournament which is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charleston Civic Center.
“We are better now than where we were last year when we went to state,” Akers said. “Our goal is to win. One hundred percent. That’s our goal … to win. They are willing to do whatever it takes to get us there. We think our chances are really good. Brooke, of course, is our biggest competition. They are always there. Wheeling Park we’ve heard has a really good team this year. They were runner-up out of their region on Saturday. Those are our two biggest competitors but our goal is to be first.”
Akers said Logan’s routine is a similar one local fans are used to seeing with high energy and high flying stunts.
“We have it packed,” she said. “We’re going to add some difficulty for the state routine. They don’t take a break. They maybe have a few seconds of a breather through the entire two minutes. There’s a lot of tumbling and a lot of flipping stunts this year which is new. West Virginia has just now allowed that so we packed our routine with that this year. The crowd really seems to like it.”
The Logan cheerleaders are led by their only senior squad member — Alexis Hicks.
“We only have one senior, Alexis Hicks. We have a really young team,” Akers said. “She wants to win and she wants to go out on top. She’s really encouraged the other girls to help her reach her goal to win the state championship. She wasn’t with our team in 2009. She didn’t cheer that year. This will be her last chance at winning a championship.”
Logan won’t be the only high school cheerleading squad from southern West Virginia to be going to the Civic Center.
Neighboring Mingo County’s two high schools — Tug Valley and Mingo Central — will also be going to the state tournament. Tug Valley won the Region 4 Class A championship, while Mingo Central won the Region 4 Class AA title. Tug Valley, which moved down to Class A this school year, won the 2A state crowns the last two years.
“I think southern West Virginia has the best cheerleading in the state,” Akers said. “It’s not just at the competition level. We also have the best cheerleaders at basketball games. When you go up north at basketball games for a regular season game or even to the state tournament those schools don’t do what the cheerleaders in southern West Virginia do. Some states the cheerleaders are more old school.”
A few years back, Coach Akers took her cheerleaders out of state when the Logan basketball team played in the Chick-fil-A Classic tourney in Columbia, S.C., over Christmas break.
Logan was the only basketball team that had a cheerleading squad and the crowd was amazed at what they saw with the high flying routine.
“They told us that we were like a circus act,” Akers joked.
Akers said she would like to thank the Logan fans which came out in droves to support the team.
“I want to thank the fans,” she said. “We had a big section of fans yesterday. They were so loud. They kept the Logan cheering going. When we took the floor they never stopped cheering until the end of the routine. That just helped so much to get through the routine when you are tired. I think that helped with our points. I know that it helped with our crowd appeal points. They were awesome and I really appreciate our Logan fans yesterday.”