Cass Tech competitive cheer team won the first-ever DPSL Cheer Championship on Feb. 8 at Cass. This is Cass Tech’s second year competing in competitive cheer.
The district created a competitive cheer league this school year. Cheer coaches were required to attend training to be certified by Michigan High School Athletic Association in coaching.
Coach Ashlee Crawford, a cheer coach at Cass, had experience with competitive cheer so she applied what she knew to the team.
“MHSAA finally decided to let DPS in,” Crawford said. “With Cass being a school in DPS, they gave us a task and we had no choice but to fulfill it.”
Ke’Anna Perry, a Cass Tech cheerleader, said the hardest part of the season was beating the stereotypes about African Americans and cheer.
“With us being Black girls just starting when other schools had a head start, it was difficult to surpass their beliefs of us, so we had to fight harder than normal,” said Perry.
The team was better prepared this year, which made this season better than last season.
“I knew what I wanted from my team as well as the expectations for myself as a coach,” Crawford said. “Cass was always good, so I did the work to find out who or what would make them better.”
The best part of the season for Perry was connecting with her team and making a name for themselves.
“My teammates made the year and my coaches paved the way for future years ahead,” said Perry. “I really hope that we’ve shown an example of what cheer is about for those who were unaware.
Crawford said she looks forward to what the future holds for the Cass Tech competitive cheer program.
“I’m excited to see this program grow for the freshmen that started,” Crawford said. “I’m excited to learn more as a coach, someone who is passionate about the sport, and the experience for the kids.”