By Marty Mayfield
Raton High Cheer, reigning state champions in 3A cheer returned to the PIT in Albuquerque Friday morning for the 2017 State Spirit Competition along with the RHS Tiger Cats Dance team who performed Friday afternoon.
This year Raton competed against Pecos who they just beat out last year for the title. Other 3A cheer included Tucumcari, Cuba, and Clayton. The Tiger Cats Dance team is the only remaining 3A team in the state and as a result have to compete against the 4A schools of Silver City, Taos, Sandia Prep, St. Michaels and Hope Christian who have always placed strong in the competition. Other 4A schools include Morality, West Las Vegas, Thoreau, and Robertson.
Both teams performed Saturday for the second day of competition where cheer did their cheer dance routine and the dance team performed their jazz routine. Changes in the schedule from last year put the awards ceremony at the end of the day Saturday where both teams finally found out where they placed.
RHS cheer (155.49) fell to Pecos(160.78) and came home with a second place trophy while the very young TigerCats Dance (140.90) team ended the competition with an 8th place. Cheer coach Linda Ortiz was proud of the girls performance and felt they did very good as her team is also a young one with several 8th graders filling out the roster. Dance coach Sue Holland noted that the next couple of years will be rebuilding years as she is expecting several 8th graders and freshman to return to the squad. Raton is the only 3A team in the state and there has been some speculation that this might be the last year for RHS dance but coach Holland put that to rest with the new hope of the younger girls joining the squad.