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Archive for the ‘Cheer’ Category

Under current guidelines, high school football is in danger of not returning this fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“I honestly don’t know about football, as we know it, happening in the fall, and I don’t think anyone else does either.”

That quote comes from someone right in the thick of things right now, a man with decades of experience in high school sports, as an athlete, coach, and administrator.

It’s a feeling shared by many, after the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released its most detailed guidelines yet on how prep sports MIGHT start back up this fall amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While a possible path was laid out for some sports to return, things don’t look good overall, and definitely not for football, the sport which typically brings in more money to a school’s athletic budget than every other sport combined.

As stated by the WIAA:

Counties in Phase 3 of Governor Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, such as Island County, can compete in “lower risk” sports.

For Coupeville High School, we’re essentially talking about cross country.

With “moderate risk” sports such as volleyball, soccer, and basketball, a county must be in Phase 4 for games to be played.

At the moment, as coronavirus cases rise in Washington and a statewide facemask requirement goes into effect Friday, the chances of any county jumping to Phase 4 — essentially a full return to normalcy — seems like a far-off mirage.

But, even if a county does get to Phase 4, the current guidelines leave three “higher risk” sports high and dry, with no timetable for a return.

Those sports — football, wrestling, and competitive cheer — “involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.”

You know, just like basketball…

Anyway.

Understandably, people are frustrated, and a petition on Change.org calling on the state to include “higher risk” sports in Phase 4 of the reopening plan is picking up steam.

The petition, called Let US Play – Washingtonian’s for Athletes-End Sports Lockdown, is making a run at 800 signatures as of Tuesday night.

 

To see the petition, pop over to:

https://www.change.org/p/jay-inslee-let-us-play-washingtonian-s-for-athletes-end-sports-lockdown

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Coupeville grad Mica Shipley will be an NCAA D-1 cheerleader at Eastern Washington University this fall. (Photos courtesy Tammy Akard and BreAnna Boon)

She’s in the game for life.

Mica Shipley broke into cheerleading at a young age, and her love of the sport has never faded.

On all-star teams by age six, it was all uphill from there.

Already a star at a young age.

The 2020 Coupeville High School grad rose through the ranks, capping her time in Cow Town as a team captain for a resurgent Wolf cheer program.

With Shipley flying high, CHS returned to competitive cheer during her junior season, and immediately made an impact, claiming 3rd at the state tourney.

She and her Wolf teammates followed that up by making it to nationals during her senior campaign.

Shipley also was chosen to model for Glitter Starz, an Illinois-based company which is a national leader in custom all-star uniforms, warm-ups, and other cheer essentials.

But, as much as she accomplished during her high school days, that won’t be the end of her cheer career.

Shipley, who will be attending Eastern Washington University to study nursing, with plans to become an OBGYN, has been picked for the school’s cheer squad.

EWU, whose alumni include NFL wide receiver Cooper Kupp, legendary comic book artist Todd McFarlane, and Olympic gold medal shooter Launi Meili, competes as an NCAA D-1 school.

When selecting her new school, Shipley was looking for a comfortable fit, and she found it in Cheney.

“I chose EWU because it gave me that hometown feel without it being super small like Coupeville,” she said. “And it’s also not too far away from home.”

To earn her spot on the Eagles cheer roster, Shipley had to go through several levels of tryouts, all adjusted to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I had to do an online tryout video. They sent me a dance, fight song, and some cheers,” Shipley said.

“I also had to send in videos of me stunting and tumbling.”

After making the first cut, it was time for interviews with the coaches.

“They asked me how I would describe myself and how my relationships were with my past teammates and coaches,” Shipley said. “We mostly all just got to know each other.”

The official announcement came Thursday, and CHS cheer coach BreAnna Boon immortalized the moment by sneaking down to Shipley’s job and decorating her car.

Shipley’s car gets some love.

“Eastern Washington is incredibly lucky to have her be a part of the team,” Boon said.

“They don’t know it yet, but she is the perfect addition and I’m planning to catch her live at a game!”

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Ashleigh Battaglia is the newest member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She’s joined there by Mica Shipley.

Whether competing with the CHS squad, or on their own, the duo soared to great success. (Photo courtesy BreAnna Boon)

The debate is settled, at least for me.

Cheerleading is a sport, and cheerleaders are athletes.

It has been ever so.

There have been 16 cheerleaders previously inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, a mix of multi-talented athletes from Amanda Fabrizi to Rose Bergdoll to David Torres.

Today, we welcome the 17th and 18th Wolf cheer squad vets to our digital clubhouse, with the CHS senior duo of Mica Shipley and Ashleigh Battaglia joining the elite.

After this, when you look at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, you’ll find the high-flying spirit superstars right where they belong.

Mica and Ashleigh have been at the forefront of Coupeville cheer for years now, whether as fast-rising newcomers or as experienced captains.

During their time at CHS, the Wolf spirit program has returned to competitive cheer, adding new moves, new stunts, and a new energy to their work on the sidelines.

Leading the return to the competition mats, Mica and Ashleigh spurred the Wolves to a 3rd place finish at the state tournament as juniors, then led their squad all the way to nationals in their final season on campus.

There was a time period, back when Hall o’ Fame coach Sylvia Arnold led the CHS program, when Coupeville competed on a regular basis, bringing home banners and trophies, including a state title.

Now, after a stretch of years in which the school chose not to compete, the Wolves are back in the thick of vying for team glory, with current coach BreAnna Boon encouraging the change.

What’s been the biggest surprise is not that Coupeville has been successful in its first two years back in competition, but that the Wolves have soared so high, so fast.

I believe a large part of the credit for that rebirth goes to Mica and Ashleigh.

To truly grow a program, you need captains who lead through words and action, with sweat and work, with an unshakable belief in themselves and their teammates.

Few have put in the time and effort that this all-star duo have.

As individuals, they are talented, strong young women, both with different skill-sets, but both utterly committed — walking, talking, backflipping testaments to never backing down and never giving in.

Together, as friends, leaders, and athletes, they show their classmates, their teammates, and the world, how much Coupeville teens can accomplish.

Whether meshing as part of the Wolf team, or going off on their own to compete in high-caliber cheer events, Mica and Ashleigh have earned our respect and admiration.

Witness the work they put in to their sport, the long, physically-demanding practices, the constant chase of perfection in events in which even the slightest of errors can be devastating, and you see two of the best we can claim as our own.

Through fall and winter cheer seasons, through off-season work and through countless performances, the duo have shined a positive light on their town, their school, their families, and, ultimately, themselves.

CHS cheer is better for Mica and Ashleigh having worn the Wolf uniform, and, as they prepare to head out into the world to write the next chapters in their story, I have no doubt both will succeed at whatever path they choose.

Look at their drive and work ethic, than add in that both of them have always come across as intelligent, outgoing young women who embrace family and friends with great passion, and it’s a pretty easy prediction to make.

As they have progressed from middle school to high school, Mica and Ashleigh have grown in confidence, refined their skill as athletes, and embraced their opportunities.

But their star quality, the special light which both project to the world, has always been there, since day one.

They have devoted time and effort, and given their all, to cheering for their classmates, to stoking the fire of spirit, and to making Coupeville a better place.

Today, we return the favor and cheer for the cheerleaders – two young women of remarkable class, accomplishment, and promise.

Hall o’ Famers in every way.

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Melia Welling leads off Senior Night cheer pics. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ashleigh Battaglia

Gavin St Onge

Ella Bueler

Marenna Rebischke-Smith

Dawson Houston

Mica Shipley

Ja’Tarya Hoskins

It was the beginning of the end, if not the actual end.

Coupeville High School cheerleaders head off to nationals this week, but first they honored their elder statesmen Tuesday during Senior Night festivities.

Six girls and two boys, they stand tall, putting the loud in loud ‘n proud.

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Coupeville cheerleader Emily Fiedler took a pie to the face Saturday, as she and her teammates raised funds for their trip to nationals. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maya Toomey-Stout plunks Ja’Tarya Hoskins.

“I survived!”

Dawson Houston gives Fiedler a sweet treat.

Mica Shipley was the first to be pied.

Still standing, but a lot messier.

Shipley awaits her fate, being delivered by Natalie Hollrigel.

We have touchdown.

Tons of pie, but none to eat.

The Coupeville High School cheerleaders used the tasty treats for other purposes Saturday night, as they held a pie-in-the-face fundraiser.

The money goes to help the Wolves travel to nationals in Orlando.

After pulling in donations all day, the top three fundraisers — Ja’Tarya Hoskins, Mica Shipley, and Emily Fiedler — were smacked by their very-eager teammates and friends.

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