The Marysville competitive cheer team is wasting no time this season.
For the last two years, the Vikings have won a league title and advanced to the Regional Finals, but this year, their goals extend even further.
“We’ve won the MAC the last two years and advanced out of districts and on to regionals, so our goal is to continue on to the State Finals,” head coach Laura Dodd said.
And after their first MAC-Blue competition of the season last Wednesday, they have reason to be confident.
At the end of round two, Marysville held a narrow two-point lead over Division 1 Chippewa Valley at 446.34 points. In the third and final round, the team put together an excellent performance, earning a score of 303.2 points for a grand total 749.54 points.
“The score goes a lot by how well they execute everything, the degree of difficulty, choreography, and floor presence, but probably the biggest category that gains the most points is execution,” Dodd said.
Her team’s third-round execution earned a two-point bonus from each of the judges, which Dodd was was “huge” in winning the meet.
But more than winning the first of three MAC-Blue meets of the season, the Vikings’ 749.54 points also set a school record for the highest score earned.
At last year’s Division 2 State Finals, a score of 749.54 points would’ve earned sixth place. Of course, one performance doesn’t guarantee anything, but Dodd said this year’s squad is bought-in and focused.
“They are pretty self-driven which has been really nice,” Dodd said. “They’re really clear on how I run things and what the expectations are, so everyone in the program is 100% in and really self-driven. They're really clear on what their goals are and they work hard toward those every day.”
Dodd is in her third year at the helm of the Viking cheer program after a 16-year hiatus. She originally coached the Vikings from 1991 to 2004 before moving to the West Coast with her husband.
Upon his retirement from the Coast Guard, the couple moved back to the area. It didn’t take long before Dodd was approached about coaching again, and with her passion for the sport, she accepted the position.
The Vikings will return to action on Jan. 25 for the second MAC-Blue meet of the season, hosted by Grosse Pointe South.
“[The high score] did give us a huge confidence boost, but this past Saturday we didn’t have a good day,” Dodd said. “Our score went down by a lot of points [700.82], so we’ve spent this week revamping things so we can get the execution points back up.”
Fortunately for Marysville, this was week was the longest break the team will have for the remainder of the season, so the Vikings had plenty of opportunity to get back on track.
Competitions pick back up next week with the third and final MAC-Blue meet on Feb. 6, followed by the District Finals on Feb. 18, and several invitationals in between.
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