Competitive cheer teams begin practices



EVART – During the COVID-19 crisis, the MHSAA identified three sports as high risk: football, wrestling and competitive cheer.

But there has been a football season and the MHSAA has given the go-ahead to competitive cheer and wrestling.

Evart competitive cheer coach Marty Pattee, who starts practices on Monday, was cautiously optimistic.

“I am excited about the possibility of having a season,” she said. “I know that there will a lot of adjustment but I really appreciate that the MHSAA is trying to make life as normal as possible for our athletes.

“For competitive cheer, we will be going all week...this is for tryouts. We will be running from 3 to 5 (p.m.) each day. My athletes have followed the guidelines which means that our offseason work has been limited. They will continue to put in the work necessary to be competitive this season and I am expecting great things from this group.”

Because of COVID, athletes had limited opportunities, compared to previous seasons, to work out during the summer.

“As with any sport, when you limit an athlete’s ability to grow and develop new skills it will have an impact,” Pattee said. “I am very lucky in that I have athletes who make the most of their time and chances. Although I wish they had more opportunities, their work ethic should helps them recover some of the missed opportunities.

“I am concerned that the virus may shut our school down again and that would mean no sports. I am also worried about athletes that have to sit out for an extended period of time.”

As for competitive cheerleaders being required to wearing masks, “It is going to be a big adjustment but it is better than having no sports at all,” Pattee said. “We are going to work hard to follow the guidelines so that we can continue to compete.

“I am hopeful but not confident. The situation is out of my control and I am going to make the best of it.”