Local cheer team back from nationals

After flipping and pyramiding their way to a national competition, the NW SilverStars cheer squad is back on home turf.

The team of 25 Skagit and Whatcom County athletes took first place in regional and state competitions before competing in the U.S. Spirit National Championships in Orlando, Fla., where they landed in fifth place.

The SilverStars was the only Northwest team in the competition, which was dominated by teams from the South and Midwest. The team is in its seventh year and had been practicing its routine and performing at local sporting events since last August.

“Overall, I think they did an amazing job,” says Christina Archer, the squad’s head coach. “This is the best squad I’ve ever had. To take them to Florida was really exciting. They held their own and they competed in a division that was really tough.”

For the girls, the competition was a chance to test their cheering mettle against teams from throughout the country.

“It was really great to see all the other teams perform,” says Courtney Dill, 14, a squad member and Fairhaven Middle School eighth grader. “We actually held our own on the competition floor, and they looked at us as competition — and they’ve been cheering for their whole lives.”

Tryouts for the squad will be held at the end of April, with a mandatory information meeting 6 p.m. April 17 for children 11 and younger or April 18 for youth aged 12 to 18.