Siuslaw cheer team prepares for state

Team finishes third at Roseburg but injury forces tough decision

Feb. 10, 2023 - The Siuslaw Viking cheer squad traveled to Roseburg on Jan. 28 for the Orange and Black Cheer Challenge. What was expected to be a warm-up for this weekend’s state competition turned into an opportunity for the team to overcome adversity.

After a tough week of preparation, the competition did not start the way Viking coach Teri Straley and her team had hoped.

“The week leading up to this competition was hard and this team pushed through a lot,” said Straley. “We did have a mishap at the competition. During our first performance, one of our fliers fell from a stunt and got injured. Upon evaluation from the athletic trainer on site, it was deemed that she would not be able to join the team in their second performance.” 

Later that evening, Straley was told that senior flier Anessa McNaughton has a fracture.

McNaughton will miss the remainder of the season as a result of the injury.  

However, all was not lost as the Viking squad showed great resiliency, overcoming the misfortune.

“This team went out and performed their hearts out on their second try and made everything they did sharp and clean,” said Straley. “We placed third, and only 20 points behind the second-place team. This is not bad for a team that was unable to build any stunts.”

The injury also forced the Siuslaw cheer team to change up its strategy for this weekend’s state competition.

“We had to make the tough decision to drop from a team of 13 to a team of nine to make sure that we are able to compete with the other teams in our division and to be able to meet all the competition requirements,” Straley explained. “I am so proud of all 14 of these athletes and proud of the ones who are willing to become alternates for the remainder of the season. I couldn't have asked for a better team this year with everything we have been through.”

The OSAA Cheerleading State Championships are tomorrow (Feb. 11) at Oregon City High School. 

First event begin at 9 a.m., with the Vikings scheduled to perform later in the afternoon at 3:30 p.m.