Blair outshines all competitors
In addition to capturing the Spirit Award for the third year in a row, Blair's varsity cheerleading squad won first place in the 2007-2008 MCPS Division II cheerleading competition held at Blair on Nov. 17.
Seven schools participated in Division II: B-CC, Blair, Damascus, Northwest, Paint Branch, Walter Johnson and Wootton. Blair triumphed over powerhouses Northwest and Damascus, who won second and third place respectively.
Paint Branch began the competition with a performance that was satisfactory with unimaginative, yet synchronized choreography and relatively strong stunts, until one heavy drop resulted in an early loss for the Panthers. They were followed by Northwest, the defending Division II champions. The Jaguars' energetic routine incorporated spectacular stunts such as free-falls and the ever crowd-pleasing scorpion stunt that two girls performed in unison.
Walter Johnson, Wootton and B-CC followed, exhibiting unoriginal routines with one or two inspired touches, including a solid free-fall from the Wildcats and exceptional tumbling from B-CC.
The most anticipated performance was from Damascus, who won top honors in last year's Division I competition. Sure enough, the Hornets displayed the best performance so far with amazing gymnastics, stunts and a fast paced and error-free dance routine. However, the performance was diminished by a fumbled stunt, giving the anxious Blair cheerleaders hope as they prepared to go next.
The Blazers' performance was a brilliant end to the competition. The cheerleaders demonstrated superior agility and athletic prowess in their gymnastics and stunts and performed the most original and creative dance routine of the competition with particularly impressive timing to the music. The Blazers performed the routine with lively facial expressions and very few errors. At the end of the performance, Blair supporters and coaches cheered with joy, knowing their girls hit the mark.
Hopeful throughout the entire awards ceremony, Blair cheerleaders were in ecstatic shock when they realized they had won first place. "We thought we'd take third or second. We took first place!" senior co-captain Courtney Forbes said. "We beat the top two teams – Northwest and Damascus – and it feels so good."
Throughout the competition, the Blazers also worked to keep fans' spirit and energy up during the breaks which helped them seal the Spirit Award. Co-coach Roxanne Fus accredits the fans as winners of the award as well. "I can't say enough about Blair fans because they are as much a part of this award as we are," she said. "The spirit award belongs in this house."
Both Forbes and co-coach Sarah Fillman were proud of the team's outstanding resilience and dedication despite injuries and a complete change in choreography the night before. "They're able to bounce back no matter what is thrown at them," Fillman said.
Anika Manzoor. Although she may look like a cute and innocent freshman, Anika is actually a SENIOR(!!), who kicks butts and takes names on a daily basis. But otherwise she's very friendly with a sunny disposition and a constant snarl - er smile on her face =D ... More »