Five for cheer

(Story and photos by Drew Ellis, The Oakland Press)

Notre Dame Prep bests Richmond again for fifth straight D3 title

The Division 3 cheer state championships once again came down Richmond and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in 2018.

However, the story remained the same for both teams, as the Fighting Irish held their position over the Blue Devils, scoring a 776.48 to claim its fifth straight state championship.

“We have an amazing community at Notre Dame and our kids just have a different standard of excellence,” Irish coach Beth Campbell said of winning five straight titles. “They refuse to not give it their all. They never come in with 80 percent. That is something special and when I came to Notre Dame that is something I noticed from the minute I walked in the door. The effort and the standards are different here than other places and I think that is the key to our success.”


Richmond finished with a total of 771.50 to earn runner-up for the fourth straight year. The Blue Devils won the D3 title in 2012 and 2013 before the Irish began their current run.

The Blue Devils didn’t hide their desire to stop the Irish, as all of their performances referenced “ending the streak.” That didn’t rattle ND Prep, as the Irish opened the meet with a 232.50 in the first round. Richmond was second with a 230.50. No other team scored better than a 229.

In the second round, the Irish really distanced themselves, scoring a 227.78, which bested the field by more than four points. Richmond scored a 223.00 in the round and trailed by over six points heading into the final performance.

Round three saw the Irish post a 316.50, which is lower than what is has done usually. Richmond won the round with a 318.00, but it wasn’t enough to win the championship.

“Round three has been our power round and I think our inexperience showed there,” Campbell said. “Those freshmen got on that state-champ mat and got a little nervous, I think. But, they were fighters and did enough to keep us with the state championship.”

The Irish had a young squad in 2018, making Saturday’s title even more impressive. With just four seniors and five juniors, the roster of 25 came together quickly to make another championship happen.

“This season I had 10 freshmen, five sophomores and two have never been on the mat. We graduated seven kids that were outstanding in our program and I thought in the beginning of the season it was going to be a rebuilding year,” Campbell said. “These kids came in and bought into our culture from Day 1. This is a humungous accomplishment and I never would have dreamed it, to be honest.”

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame's upper school enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at