Home Education Champions return as Hobbs, Lovington cheer win state titles

Champions return as Hobbs, Lovington cheer win state titles

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Jason Farmer/News-Sun

Back in 2019, the Hobbs cheer squad won its first NMAA state championship. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and wiped out sports, canceling the 2020 championships and a chance to repeat. Schools slowly re-opened for the 2020-21 year and all sports were condensed into four months. Because of that, Hobbs elected not to participate in competitive cheer.

“We decided not to (compete in 2020-21) in the best interest of our kids,” Hobbs cheer coach Brittanee McCleery said. “We needed them to focus on grades at that point.”

Three years later, the Eagles’ competitive cheer squad is back, though still dealing with members out with COVID-19 and/or other sicknesses.

“But, we decided we were ready and they were hungry,” McCleery said. “They had worked really hard for this. We had a lot of people out with COVID when we first started our competition season, so it made it really hard and we were unable to go to several competitions.”

In fact, prior to the state championship, Hobbs was able to compete only once, at Artesia. That seemed to be all the Eagles needed though, as they won.

“With less competitions to compete at, it was kind of nerve-racking,” Hobbs junior Kamryn Owensby said. “We didn’t get to perform one of our routines at a competition, so we didn’t get to experience or get judges feedback, so we didn’t know our results would come out.”

At the state competition, the Eagles were just as good, winning the Class 5A Co-Ed state title with relative ease.

“This was actually just our second competition that we have done this year,” the Hobbs coach added. “For them to go up there and this to be their second time competing was absolutely phenomenal. I am still lost for words.”

Hobbs was the fourth team up in each category. Gadsden led off followed by Farmington and West Mesa. After Hobbs went, Centennial followed. The Eagles had the top score in each category. Hobbs collected 174.80 points on its two performances.

“We were pretty high up there,” the Hobbs coach said. “The other competition was (close to) 169. We beat them by several points.”

The Eagles scored an 83.03 on their Game Day Routine.

“The Game Day Routine is kind of what you would see at a Friday night football game,” McCleery said. “We do a band dance and then the announcer calls out a scenario and you have to respond correctly whether it is an offensive or defensive chant. Then they do their fight song.”

Hobbs then added 91.77 points for their Cheer with Music routine.

“Then they have their big routine,” McCleery said. “That is where you see all the flips and stunts and amazing stuff. They do a cheer with that as well.”

West Mesa finished second overall, scoring 168.87 points while Centennial was third with 166. West Mesa had the second highest score on Game Day (80.50) and the third highest on Cheer with Music

(88.37). Centennial’s Game Day routine had the Hawks in third with 77.33 points while their Cheer with Music routine scored them 88.67 points, second, the highest score.

Of all the members of the Hobbs cheer squad, Owens-by was the only member who had any experience at the state level. Three years ago, as an eighth grader, Owensby was a part of the Eagles’ first state championship team.

“She is the only one who has the experiences,” McCleery said. “So, when I would tell the kids at practice what they would be expecting, she just kept they have no idea. They have no idea and they won’t until they experience it. She was right. They (the team) said this is not at all like what we imagined. They said it was so much more than they ever could have imagined.”

Now, the junior has two titles to her name, something no other

Hobbs cheerleader can claim.

“That is insane. It is crazy,” the Hobbs junior said. “Now I can finally share my experience and people can relate to it. Being a part of Hobbs cheer is just an amazing opportunity and winning two state championships is crazy.”

As for the the other co-ed championship, that went to Lovington in Class 4A with 179.87 points.

The Wildcats dominated their competition. Loving-ton scored 87.47 points in their Game Day Routine then added 92.40 points in the Cheer with Music routine. The Wildcats scored 6.5 more points than the runner up in Game Day Routine and almost two more points in the Cheer with Music routine.

Goddard (165.90) was second and Bloomfield (164.77). The championship is the fourth straight for Loving-ton. The Rockets had the second highest Game Day Routine with 80.97 points while Bloomfield was second in Cheer with Music routine with 90.40 points.

In regular cheer, Rio Rancho took first in Class 5A with 187.27 points while La Cueva (182.10) was second and Cleveland

(179.13) was third.

Taos (184.70) won the Class 4A title with Valley (175.80) and Valencia (166.43) taking second and third.

Raton (175) won the Class 3A title and was followed by Dexter (162.40) and West Las Vegas (159.23) while the Class A-2A title went to Questa with 170.54 points. Clayton finished second with 162.83 points and Pecos was third with 158.10.

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