EVART - Evart's competitive cheer team is getting ready for the busy part of its schedule.

Key returners for this year include: Mari Flachs as a flyer and a tumbler, Abbi Boyd as a tumbler and a base, Zandrea Geranen as a base and tumbler and Kaitlyn Roberts as a back spot.

The Wildcats have had December meets at Shepherd and McBain.

At Shepherd, "I thought they did very well," Evart coach Marty Pattee said. "They surpassed their round one score from last year's starting point by almost 17 points. At the end of that weekend, it was one of the top 10 scores in the state for round one. I'm not sure it's still there. I know that's where they were.

"We need to continue to work on rounds two and three. We have not put on the floor our round three. It's the one with the stunts and the tumbling. For the safety of the kids I chose not to do that until after the break, and make sure they know it. We don't want anyone get hurt."

Coming up are meets at Marion on Jan. 15 and at Harrison on Jan. 18. There are home invitationals on Jan. 22 and Feb. 1.

"The one in February is a big meet," Pattee said. "There's around 20 teams there."

Pattee said the Highland Conference doesn't have enough schools with a competitive cheer team for a league.

"We were close this year until Houghton Lake didn't have a varsity team," Pattee said.

Girls perform in three different rounds at each meet. The first round includes motions and jumps. The second round is all about precision, tumbling, jumping. The third involves stunts and mounts.