Norman High Cheer takes STUNT state championship

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Apr. 24—The Norman High School STUNT cheer team brought new hardware home after winning the state championship and achieving a perfect season this month.

NHS, along with many other Class 6A schools, now competes in an emerging style of cheer competition that focuses on the technical skills found in cheerleading like stunts, jumps tumbling and basket tossing in a four quarter-style game between programs.

In its third season competing in the sport, NHS STUNT won the state championship at Oklahoma Baptist University last weekend, capping off a perfect season with a 12-0 record.

NHS Cheer Coach Ashley Frazier said STUNT is more about the athletic side of cheer than the performances, with different periods for each category of the competition.

In STUNT competitions, winning a coin toss means having the option to keep or defer possession. On choosing to keep possession, that team can call the routine they feel the most confident about for the next category.

"There's also an aspect of scouting teams and seeing what they're strong at, so those routines can be avoided through the three periods," Frazier said. "The fourth quarter is a competition of stunts, jumps, tumbling and pyramids all together."

In the 2020-2021 season, NHS STUNT conquered their division consisting of Sapulpa, Deer Creek, Blanchard, Piedmont, Grove, Chandler, Carl Albert, Newcastle and Putnam City before beating Deer Creek a second time to finish the season undefeated.

Frazier said the team faced multiple instances of adversity throughout this year's run, and members are proud of what they have accomplished despite the pandemic and other challenges.

"We had a game a couple weeks ago, and one of our flyers was throwing up and couldn't keep anything down, so she didn't get to come on the trip with us, as well as our other three coaches," Frazier said.

Frazier said during the bus ride, another flier, Shelby Chaffin, had to learn all of the routines.

"When we got there, we just had to throw her in there, but we actually ended up winning those games by 15 points each," Frazier said.

In the state championship last weekend, Frazier said instead of seeding the teams by record, matchups were chosen based on a random draw. She said their squad had the toughest matchups by far.

The championship marks the first state title NHS Cheer has won in school history.

"To go undefeated, this group showed resiliency and really just pulled together to [win the championship]," Frazier said.

Jeff Elkins covers business, living and community stories for The Transcript. Reach him at Jelkins@normantranscript.com or at @JeffElkins12 on Twitter.

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