Dove Creek High School has a strong cheerleading tradition, to say the least.
Since 2000, the Lady Bulldogs have participated in nine of the last 12 2A Colorado state cheer competitions. They have never placed lower than fourth, including state titles in 2002, 2003 and 2010.
Dove Creek earned its fourth runner-up finish last Saturday at the Denver Coliseum with a final score of 77.50.
The Lady Bulldogs just missed another state title, finishing less than two points out of first. The state title went to fellow Western Slope school Telluride, whose squad scored 79.33.
“The girls, overcoming injury and illness, took the floor, and with the advice from their camp coach, who gave them a pep talk the night before, left it all on the floor. No regrets,” Dove Creek first-year coach Karla Knuckles said.
The Lady Bulldogs were the second team to perform Saturday morning at 8:36 a.m., so the 5:30 a.m. practice really paid off.
“The girls couldn’t have done any better. They stuck (through) everything,” Knuckles said. “As heartbreaking as it was to take second after winning last year, they know they did everything they could and they did it with perfection.”
The Western Slope was well represented in the Class 2A competition. Besides the tremendous performances by Telluride and Dove Creek, Ignacio earned fourth (71.67) and Dolores placed sixth (68.17) out of 21 2A teams.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these girls. They showed so much dedication, maturity and sportsmanship, and the seniors really stepped up and led the team,” Knuckles said.
One of those Dove Creek seniors, Zoey Young, made the All-State team.
“The girls, (assistant coach) Charlene (Curtis) and I, would like to thank (former head coach) Kati Banks for everything she did to help get us ready for state,” Knuckles said. “We would have never made it this far without her. We would also like to thank all the parents and fans who showed up at state, and cheered us on. It made a world of difference.”
Knuckles further added.
“Also, thank you Kay Lynn for the goodie bags, the Superette for the candy, Scott (Knuckles) for driving the bus, Jennifer Hatfield for making our signs and Pegie McCourt for the hair ribbons,” she said. “Without our parent and community support, there’s no way we could make these long, expensive trips. We appreciate everything.”
In 4A cheer action, Montezuma-Cortez High School finished 35th out of 42 teams with a total score of 55.67.
To view any of the state routines, fans can go to www.chsaa.tv.