MHS Competitive cheerleaders work to advance to regionals


(Photo Courtesy of Emma Gasser)

MHS cheerleaders performing a “lib” in their round 3.

Bella Reynolds, Asst. Managing Editor

For the Milford Competitive cheerleaders, the previous season was beyond successful with two first place finishes at competitions, a second-place finish in the LVC league championship, and joining  the “700 club” (scoring over 700 points many times). After spending all summer together, the girls of the Varsity cheer team have spent countless hours practicing routines and bettering themselves for the season that means the most to them.

The week of Nov. 10, girls attending Milford High School had the opportunity to tryout for competitive cheerleading. Tryouts consisted of three days with hours of learning routines, technique, and new skills. The last day, their skills were put to the test. The girls were evaluated on a few key aspects: stunting, tumbling, motions, and overall performance. On Nov. 15, team selections were posted, and the following day the 2019-2020 Varsity competitive cheer team prepared for the first competition of their competitive season.

Senior Micalah Suser, a four-year Varsity athlete going into her eighth season of Milford Varsity cheer said, “I love competitive cheer at Milford because it’s an experience that will teach you so much and surround you with girls you will have everlasting bonds with. Cheer is more than just a sport to me, and these girls are more than just a team. We spend almost everyday together laughing, sweating, and working hard. We all have the same goal in mind, and seeing how far we have come since my sophomore year is mind blowing. We set out on a mission to make history here at Milford and be the team that people talk about. I am hopeful that we will find success this season if we all continue to believe and have the right motivation to get where we want to be.” Suser competed on a team of 14 as a sophomore and has been with Milford cheer since it expanded to a team of 21 girls. She continued, “I love this sport because it’s so thrilling and the feeling of hitting a round three with your team is one that will never be able to be replaced. I want to spend this season enjoying the lasts and soaking up all the practices and competitions with the girls I’ve spent the last four years with! It truly is something I love to do and I think all the girls think the same. I love our motto ‘Red on the rise’ because we have been putting countless hours into these three rounds and we all know that if we put our minds to it, then we will be rewarded with success.”

The 2019-2020 Milford Varsity competitive cheerleaders spend five days per week practicing and putting in the work for what is ahead. Depending on their competing schedule, the cheerleaders spend their Monday evenings at STS Athletics building strength, flexibility, and conditioning. . Tuesdays through Fridays, a typical practice ranges from 2:30-6 p.m. each practice varies in its own way, but every day the team divides the practices to be able to practice for each of their three “rounds” (a round in competitive cheerleading is an average of a two-minute-and-30-second routine that varies with the requirements of MHSAA). The girls then go into their tumbling classes with Coach Brett Kavulich (BK).

Freshman Leah Fitzgerald, a member of the Varsity cheer team, only began cheering in the fall. Starting out her freshman year of high school on the Junior Varsity cheer team, she dedicated herself to the gym and the mat, resulting in making the Varsity competitive team. Fitzgerald had never cheered before and has made friendship unlike any others. “I love being a part of this family and coming to practice every day and taking the mat at competitions with the girls I love,” Fitzgerald said. “I love cheer so much because we fight together to accomplish our goals and we always build each other up.” Fitzgerald quickly fell in love with the sport and is planning to cheer throughout her high school career.

Competitions vary from Saturdays and Wednesdays, depending on where they are competing and for what title. Competitions that the cheerleaders attend on Saturdays do not count toward the LVC conference and ratings.  They hold three LVC competitions before the LVC championships. Each competition before the championship places where a team is in the league, and the championship competition determines if a team will be advancing to regionals.

Junior Allison Swerc has been cheering for six years, and this is her sixth season cheering for Milford High School. “My favorite part of cheer is the feeling of running off the mat after we perform an amazing round,” Swerc said. “To me, cheer means bonding with my best friends, and getting to do what I love. I’ve been doing cheer for so long that it has formed a special place in my heart. I grew up cheering with some of the same girls I cheer with now, which makes it even more special.”

On Jan. 15, the girls attended their first LVC competition of the season. Held at Lakeland High School at 6 p.m., they competed against Walled Lake Western, Walled Lake Northern, Walled Lake Central, Waterford Mott, Waterford Kettering, South Lyon, South Lyon East, and Lakeland. They performed all three of their rounds, and at the end of the night, scores and places were announced. The cheerleaders were very excited when they heard Milford announced in 2nd place for the league.

Sophomore Ella Warzecha, a flyer on the Milford Varsity cheer team, has been cheering for 10 years. To her, cheerleading holds a special place in her heart. “I love competitive cheer at Milford for so many reasons. These past two years have been the best yet for MVCC and we have so much potential to keep growing, so we’re always working to meet our next goal. Accomplishing these goals while working as a team and seeing our achievements is such a great reward. After many hours of practice and preparation, going out on the mat and giving it your all is the best feeling knowing that we have reached our highest and greatest point, but still can always work to get better. Doing it with the girls on this team brings a whole other level of love because we’re doing it as a family while creating memories that we’re never going to forget.”

As the competitive cheer season has only begun for the MVCC cheerleaders, they are taking no days off to better themselves as individuals and as a whole. The competitive cheerleaders have had two competitions to start their season on a high note. On Dec. 6, the cheerleaders hosted their own competition. The girls were extremely excited when their name was announced as first place at the Mighty Mav competition. The next weekend, on Dec. 14, they attended the CCCAM competition where they placed second in their division and sixth overall. Though not the outcome they wanted, the girls took the feedback and have been working non-stop to increase their scores for the upcoming competitions in their season.

The girls have spent countless hours and days practicing for the three rounds that they will be performing at upcoming competitions, and against the LVC. With dedicated hearts and minds, the Milford competitive cheerleaders are keeping their heads held high with the dream of advancing to regionals this season.