By Mark Jurgena
It was another successful cheer meet for Highland High School as they won the ICCA championship in Springfield on January 8th at the Bank of Springfield Center.
For the first time, Highland won the Coed Division of the event. They easily outdistanced O’Fallon for the title. The Bulldogs had a whopping 92.43 points even after taking a one-point deduction.
“My team finally came together,” said coach Angie Fears. “My team did an amazing job. First time in the Coed Division, we didn’t know what to expect. We did go up (earlier) in Highland against two other teams but obviously, there were more teams at ICCA.
“It wasn’t a flawless routine, but overall the energy was there and they did amazing. I was very happy with their performance.”
At ICCA there is only one Coed Division. That division is defined by having two or more boys on the squad. There are three other varsity divisions as well based on enrollment.
Not only was it a great routine by the Bulldogs, but the event also marked one of the first times the stands were filled with spectators after COVID-19 mitigation measures canceled last year’s event.
“You always go and you have your hometown crowd that follows you there,” said Fears. “To say how loud the crowd was from surrounding schools…the support. These kids put on a show that weekend and had the entire place up for them. It was one of the best feelings in the world.”
Fears not only credited the hard work of her team but also the hard work of her assistant coach Tess Chlibec.
“She’s coached with me for the last three years now and it’s just worked very, very well,” said Fears. “We make one heck of a team. Without her help, we wouldn’t be where we’re at. She’s done a lot with the program when I needed her too.”
Just three days after the ICCA meet, Highland competed at the conference meet in Waterloo. The Bulldogs did not fare as well as they had over the weekend but still finished in second place behind the host school.
“We did not have the same amount of energy,” said Fears. “We did not do as well as I had hoped. Hopefully, they feel that, ‘we felt the high and we felt the low and we want the high.’ So keep pushing from there to make it better.”
Highland High was well represented in the awards category at the state meet. Senior Rhea Fowler was named to the ICCA All-State team.
Four Bulldogs were selected to the ICCA Scholar-Athlete team. They were Fowler and fellow seniors Mya Iberg, Allison Reiling, and Brittani Wellen.
Additionally, Fowler and Wellen were ICCA Scholarship recipients.
Four Bulldogs were named all-conference at the MVC competition in Waterloo. Fowler, Wellen, junior Avery Miles, and freshman Cole Parsons received the honor.
Metro East at ICCA
In addition to Highland winning the Coed Varsity Division, the Highland Middle School got third place in the Jr. High Medium Division.
In the large school varsity classification, Edwardsville got second place while their JV team got first place. Collinsville finished seventh at the varsity level.
Triad took third place in the Medium Varsity division.
For small schools, Greenville won the varsity division while their JV finished in second place.