Home Sports Hobbs, Lovington cheer teams host state-wide competition Saturday

Hobbs, Lovington cheer teams host state-wide competition Saturday

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Cheer ‘em on

Hobbs, Lovington cheer teams host state-wide competition Saturday

Andy Brosig/News-Sun

Spirit will fill the air Saturday for a first-of-its-kind competition featuring middle school, junior varsity and varsity high school cheerleader from around the state.

The inaugural Lea County Spirit Classic will be at the Lea County Event Center in Hobbs on Saturday featuring teams from more than 30 New Mexico schools.

Doors open at 9 a.m. with competition kicking off at 10 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m.

General admission is $5 and tickets are available on the Hobbs Municipal Schools athletics website. Tickets are purchased online which will generate a code that can be scanned at the door, said Hobbs cheer coach Cassey Sudweeks.

“This is for middle school and high school cheer and dance teams from all throughout the state,” Sudweeks said. “It includes a couple of exhibition performances from local all-star (cheer) gyms and dance companies.”

In addition, the Spirit Classic qualifies as 4A district championships through the New Mexico Activities Association, Lovington coach Olivia Amundsen. Lovington is the official host school for the competition and invited Hobbs to come in to co-host, she said.

“It was always our goal to include Hobbs,” Amundsen said. “This is something that’s been in the works for a long time, but COVID happened and kind of shut us down. We had to rebuild until this year when we finally felt it was the appropriate time to do that.”

The competition will be split into several divisions for middle school, junior varsity and varsity dance and cheerleading, Sudweeks and Amundsen said. Dance performances will take place in the morning, Sudweeks said, followed by cheer competition teams in the afternoon.

Hobbs’ first performance will be a middle school team scheduled for 11:45 a.m., followed by Taylor Middle School from Lovington at 12:03 p.m. and Hobbs junior varsity at 12:09 p.m.

Tatum varsity cheer will take the stage at 12:33 p.m. followed by Eunice varsity at 12:39 p.m. Lovington’s 4A varsity squad gets their turn in the limelight at 1:09 p.m. with Hobbs 5A varsity wrapping up the Lea County entrants at 1:33 p.m.

In addition to the competition, there will be food trucks and other vendors available to fill in the time between watching favorite teams compete, Sudweeks said. One special attraction for children will be a company called Plush Party Express which offers a “build-a-bear” booth, she said.

Children “get to pick a stuffed animal and an outfit, then they’ll fill the stuffed animal on site,” Sudweeks said. “That’s going to be something fun for the kids to do while they’re waiting on the performances.

“I think it’s going to be an overall fun day. We have so much going on and we’re providing a lot of entertainment to keep people excited.”

Amundsen agreed, adding the competition gives local cheerleaders and dancers an opportunity to shine. The Hobbs cheer squad, for example, has three back-to-back state championships while Lovington boasts five championships in a row, the most in LHS history, she said.

“Lovington and Hobbs cheer teams have both made history,” Amundsen said. “We don’t get to showcase our talents often enough for our communities, especially not on a platform that’s as great as the Lea County Events Center.

“I think sometimes cheer is seen as just the sport that cheers on the other sports. This time we get to cheer on our cheerleaders who’ve made names for themselves in the state of New Mexico.”

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