Barlow Cheer Takes on State and National Mat


Garrett Dow

Sam Barlow Varsity cheer taking the mat at OSAA state competition

OSAA held the Cheerleading State Championships on February 11th, 2023, at Oregon City High School; this was the first normal state competition since 2020. Many schools, including Barlow, have yet to go to the state since 2020, but Barlow made a comeback this year.  

Barlow has been training as a team since early August and has cheered at many games and competed several times this season. The Barlow Bruins have held the top places at a handful of the competitions this season, including first in traditional at the Falcon Rumble and Scotsmen Rumble.  They have also placed second in traditional at the Gladstone Cheer Challenge. The Bruins have also been in the top spots for their game-day routine at multiple competitions. At state, the Bruins competed at the state competition and placed twelfth for their traditional routine in the 6A small division.

Throughout the season, teams have been working to defend their state title and five teams managed to keep that top spot. In the 4A/3A/2A/1A division, Rainer high school has remained in the top spot with a score of 93.90. In the 4A division, Gladstone had kept their spot at the top as well with a score of 102.40, before deductions Gladstone and Sweethome, who came in second with a score of 92.3, were less than a point apart. Another team remaining in the top spot at the championships was Lebanon in the 5A division. Lebanon took the lead with a score of 101.6 with Ridgeview falling in second with a score of 95.60. In the 6A large division, Westview remained the title holder with a score of 107.20. The spots for second and third were close with West Linn at 100.3 and Aloha at 100.10. For the co-ed division, the top spots scores were not as close, McMinnville won the title with 106.20 and Tualatin came in second with a score of 104.10. Along with winning their tenth state title, this being the fourth year in a row, Newberg, who competed 6A small, also won the highest score of the day.

This year, the OSAA also added a new Gameday division where teams compete in a band chant, situational cheer, general cheer, and the school’s fight song. In the 4A/3A/2A/1A gameday division, Scio went home with the championship, and Westside Christian came in with a close second. In the 6A/5A gameday division, Central and Thurston were tied for first, and third place was given to Grants Pass and Gresham.

This year, the OSAA had the most teams competing at this championship than any other in Oregon history. The OSAA gave out 34 trophies this year, whereas last year, they gave out 22. Even though there were many repeat winners, there were also lots of newcomers in new divisions or even from schools who had not competed in last year’s competitions.

 Along with competing at the state competition, the Barlow varsity cheer team also traveled to Anaheim, California to compete at USA Spirit Nationals. The Bruins competed with their traditional routine, and they placed 17th in the small intermediate traditional division. Along with competing in their traditional routine they also competed in band chant and placed 7th for small intermediate band chant.

After missing out on the past two years of normal competitions, games, and practices, the Bruins have shown they are back, ready to put in the work. Barlow Cheer hopes to continue to grow the program as tryouts approach.