Notre Dame Prep claims third consecutive D3 state title.
(Article by Drew Ellis, The Oakland Press)
Many coaches like to tone down expectations for their team when the possibility of a state championship is in the air.
Beth Campbell is not one of those coaches.
The fourth-year coach of the Pontiac Notre Dame Prep competitive cheer team not only embraced the expectations, but used it as the team motto during Saturday’s Division 3 state finals.
Led by the slogan of “Two Won’t Do,” the Irish won their third consecutive state championship, scoring a total of 775.48 to beat the field by nearly 10 points.
“We weren’t afraid of it,” Campbell said championship expectations. “When you win, the target is usually on your back but I didn’t want the kids feeling that way. I wanted them to be confident and comfortable. The state finals is all mental, so getting them in the mindset that they were going to deliver and be three-time state champions was important and really what got us through.”
The Irish put up the top score in each round, posting a 230.50 in the first, a 226.58 in the second and a 318.40 in the third.
WATCH VIDEO OF NOTRE DAME'S CHEER COMPETITION
“I think this team has set a standard that, even though we are in a smaller division, we want to look like a Division 1 program. We want never want to be measured as a smaller school and I think this season this team has returned with a desire to be great and be powerful and be remembered,” Campbell said.
Not everyone felt like Saturday’s scores were what they should have been. Richmond came in second on the day with a 765.86 total, but head coach Kelli Matthes felt like here team was much closer to the Irish than the score indicated.
If you saw the third round, I think it was the best third round of the day. There is nothing you can do, it is a judged sport. I don’t think that the scores reflect….I don’t think there should have been as big of a gap, I’ll just say that,” Matthes said. “I don’t think there should been that big of a gap and I think maybe the outcome should have been a little bit different. I’m not the one making the decisions. All I know is that there are 28 ladies (on Richmond’s squad) that busted their (butts) for nine months and I don’t have an answer for them.”
Despite expectations to win again, Campbell did admit that this season may have been the toughest of the three titles to win.
“The field this year was tougher than ever. This year we went back-and-forth a lot with winning and losing, but I knew the girls were capable and I knew they could (win) if they had three great rounds,” Campbell said. “We didn’t have our best rounds (Saturday), but they were strong enough to get the win.”
The Irish will lose six seniors in Stephanie George, Paige Lombardo, Megan Gowdy, Allison Kot, Morgan Moore and Lauren Kavanagh from a squad that now looks to making a run at four straight championships.
“Let’s hope we can do it again,” Campbell said with a big smile.
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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. The school's upper division 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 divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." The Marist Fathers and Brothers sponsor NDPMA's Catholic identity and manages its educational program. Notre Dame 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 www.ndpma.org.