The Benson High School Spiritline teams went three for three this year with all of their competitive teams (All Girls Stunt, Show Cheer and Hip-Hop) earning their way to the state championships.

“All of our teams making it to the state finals is a huge accomplishment,” Benson High School Spiritline coach Elisia Rodriguez said.

This is Rodriguez’s 16th year coaching the Bobcats. She is assisted by Samantha Hoffman, Chelsea Tedford, and Kendra DeBueler.

The first two competitions (all girls stunt and show cheer) were held on Jan. 30 at American Leadership Academy in Gilbert.

The first Benson team to compete was their all girls stunt team who took the first place title in the Division 4 bracket. Members of the team include juniors Sierra Engelhardt and Gwynn Lohoff, and sophomores Lela Garcia, Tatiana Quezada and Josaphine Romine.

“Our All Girls Stunt team worked really hard to earn the first place title,” Hoffman, who has been helping coach the ‘cats for 10 years, said.

Next to earn their way to the state finals was the Bobcat show cheer team. They finished second in the Division 4 competition. Members of the Show Cheer team include: seniors Grace Blalock, Mia Claridge (captain), and Tori Hockenbury; juniors Engelhardt, Lohoff, and Bailey Cardenas; sophomores Garcia, Quezada, Romine, Olivia Blalock, Daizy Canez, Zerik Klump, and Annie Winker; and freshmen Argus Kenyon, Natalie Koeing, Evalynn Magregor, Willow Pralgo, Socoro Quezada and Alyssa Villagas.

“I think we have an amazing routine,” Claridge said. “We did well but we do have a few things we’re going to fix. We are all super excited for the state competition and are hoping to take the state title. That will be our last performance. It will be sad that our season is ending but we have had an amazing year together.”

The next competition took place at Poston Butte High School in San Tan Valley on Feb. 6 where the Benson Hip-Hop team performed. This time the Bobcats competed against teams from Division 1 through Division 4. The Benson team again qualified for state, this time taking third place against teams from all four divisions. Members of the team include: juniors Lohoff and Elyna Demetroulis (captain); sophomores Canez, Garcia, Romine, Quezada, Delilah Artis, Diana Sabin, and Jennice Waddle; and freshmen Madison Martell and Lily Riviera.

“Our Hip-Hop team did the best I’ve seen them do all year at the regional tournament,” Rodriguez said. “It was a huge accomplishment to take third place in this tournament because we were competing not just against our own division but against all four divisions. We will evaluate how we did, make a few changes, and hopefully this will help us get a better score.”

The Bobcat spiritline teams will all be competing in the state championship tournament on March 6. The venue has not yet been determined.


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