The Paso Robles Bearcats have a brand new sports team on campus. Starting this spring the Bearcats will have a competitive stunt team for the first time ever. Stunting is the world of competitive cheerleading, and it is not only a new sport to Paso Robles, it’s also new to California. This year will only be the second year that California will hold a state championship event for the high school level.
For the past several years, the school systems have been searching for a cost-effective way to allow cheerleaders to compete, and now they have it. The sport of stunting is recognized in college and now in certain high schools. Cal Poly currently has a nationally ranked team.
Because this is the team’s first year, head coach Tori Loney wanted to bring out as many girls as possible to help show them how fun and competitive the sport can be. The team held try-outs in early May and added eight girls to the cheer team they already had intact.
“Next year we may or may not have such a large team because it makes it more difficult for the girls to get time on the mat,” Loney said. “But we wanted to have a large team too so that we could expose all of the girls to the sport and get them excited.”
Stunting is very strategic, and the coaches must compete against themselves mentally while the girls sweat it out on the mat. Stunting is broken down into four quarters of competition, with each quarter adding a slightly different wrinkle. Each team is expected to know the same six different routines and be able to perform them well. At the start of each quarter one coach gets to call whichever routine they want, and both teams must perform the same one. Which team gets to call the routines is decided via a coin flip before the match. There are four routines per quarter and each one is worth a single point. The teams can win/lose or tie the point depending on the officials scores.
The first quarter is made up of groups of four girls performing together. The second quarter is for pyramids and tosses and will have three different groups of girls working together to form a pyramid at some point in the routine. The third quarter is for routines of seven girls, and the fourth and final quarter is when all the groups get to come in and out. The Bearcats are competing this year in the Central Coast Stunt League in California’s Southern Section.
Expectations were initially low for the Stunt Team because this was only its first year, but after some great success the team has their sights set on the highest goal.
“Our goal for the season was to get out there and learn the sport,” Loney said. “But as we have progressed and done so well in beating the league leaders, our goal now is to win CIF. and attend the state competition.”
Paso Robles could have its first CIF champion Stunt Team in only its first year of competition, a truly impressive achievement.
The Bearcats will be hosting their first CIF sectional game on April 25 at 6:30 p.m. against Cabrillo High School. This will be the Bearcats’ last home match of the season, and a big one at that. Right now the state championships are set for May 5 and 6 in Sacramento.