The Benson High School Spiritline teams returned from the state championship with not one but two state championship trophies.
The Bobcats brought home championships in both Division IV All-Girls Stunt and Division IV Show Cheer. They also finished third in Division I-IV Hip Hop. The championships were held on March 6 at Poston Butte High School in San Tan Valley.
“When they were announcing the results, we were all so excited,” Spiritline coach Elisia Rodriguez, in her 17th year coaching the Bobcats, said. “It was a really proud moment when they announced us as the winners of both All Girls Stunt and Show Cheer.
“Taking not one but two state championship titles is so amazing, so positive for our Spiritline program. This really highlights how much our athletes and coaches have worked to build our program.”
Earlier in the season the Bobcats competed in the regionals, with the All Girls Stunt team finishing first, the Show Cheer finishing second, and Hip Hop taking third.
Assistant coach Sammie Jo Hoffman, in her 9th year as an assistant coach, reflects Coach Rodriguez’s view that the hard work and dedication of all involved in the Spiritline program led to their championship victories.
“This was definitely a hard year with COVID restrictions and not knowing if we would even have state championships but this year I saw dedication like never before. It was good to bring home two state championships,” Hoffman said.
This year’s seniors definitely have great memories from their final Spiritline season.
“I’m really proud of everyone for everything we accomplished,” senior captain Mia Clarige said. “I want to thank everyone from my teammates to our amazing coaches who gave us this opportunity. Taking state was so amazing!”
Senior Grace Blalock was equally excited with the teams’ victories.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless,” Blalock said. “All our hard work with drills and practices came to light at state.”
Competing in the All Girls Stunt were: juniors Sierra Engelhardt and Gwynn Lohoff; and sophomores Lela Garcia, Tatiana Quezada, and Josephine Romine.
Competing in Show Cheer were: seniors Claridge , Blalock, and Victoria Hockenbury; juniors Engelhardt and Lohoff; sophomores Olivia Blalock, Daizy Canez, Garcia, Dawn Harrington, T. Quezada, Romine, and Annie Winker; and freshmen Argus Kenyan, Natalie Koeing, Evalynn Magregor, Willow Pralgo, Socoro Quezada, and Alyssa Villegas.
Competing in Hip Hop were: juniors Elyna Demetroulis (captain) and Lohoff; sophomores Delilah Artis, Canez, Garcia, T. Quezada, Romine, Diana Sabin, and Jennice Waddle; and freshmen Madison Martell and Lily Rivera.
Demetroulis knows that the future holds even bigger things for the Bobcat team.
“We had a long season but we all worked hard. I’m so excited that our All Girls’ Stunt and Show Cheer teams took state,” she said. “This was a building year for the future and next season will be even better.”