Members of the Hopkins competitive cheer team perform during the OK Silver Meet. Among those competing for the Vikings are Rachel Black, Alisha Hottinger, Nevaeh Stevens, Alivia Spicer, Isabella Prather,  Jade Flickinger, Makaylee Bartley and Zoey Marshall. (Photo provided)

Hopkins cheer cracks 600 points for first time ever

By: 
Leo Martonosi

The Hopkins competitive cheer team made history on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
“To become the first team to score over 600 points means a lot,” said four-year senior standout Makaylee Bartley, who plans on going out for competitive cheer at Coastal Carolina in South Carolina after she graduates from Hopkins.
Bartley, who plans to study nursing, and her teammates turned in their history-making performance at the OK Silver Conference championship meet.
Adam Valk, Hopkins’ athletic director, was delighted to see that fans were fighting for a place to sit at the middle school gymnasium.
“I’m happy for the girls,” Valk said. “They work hard and deserve to have a big and supportive crowd.”
No one knows how much the interest of competitive cheer has caught on at schools more than Hopkins than coach Autumn Kraima, who started the program six years ago with only a handful of girls. Since then, she has built a strong team with 21 girls, including 10 on the varsity and 11 on the jayvees.
“To see some of the success these girls are having in such a short time and to see such a large crowd not only means a lot for the girls, but to us as coaches and to their parents,” Kraima said.
The Vikings finished fourth in the six-team field with a three round record 607.50 score.
“It’s very, very exciting,” said Hopkins junior Rachel Black, who like Bartley competes in all three rounds.
With every girl on the team shining, the Vikings obliterated the school’s previous record score of 594.1.
“That’s what makes this score so rewarding,” Black said.
Kraima wasn’t surprised that NorthPointe Christian won the league tournament with a three-round 707.84 score.
“They are very talented and placed at state last year,” she said.
Belding finished second with 656.62 points.
The Hopkins JV team tallied 542.84 points.
“The girls love the enthusiasm of their team and the students and fans that showed up to support each conference school,” Kraima said. “It was so nice to see.”
Hopkins recorded a first-round 198.5 score, a 165.60 second-round score and a third-round 259.40 score.
Alisha Hottinger, a senior exchange student from Switzerland, loves participating in a sport that her home county doesn’t offer.
“I’m having a blast,” Hottinger said. “In Switzerland I just competed in gymnastics.”
 

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