Wynford cheerleading

Eleni Ritzler, a Wynford cheerleader, holds up a "BLUE" sign to engage the crowd in a cheer during the Bratwurst Festival Cheerleading Competition on Aug. 17, 2018. 

BUCYRUS -- To say that Wynford’s cheerleading trophy cabinet will be a little full after Friday’s competition would be an understatement. The Royals’ cheerleading squads racked up the hardware at the Bratwurst Festival Cheerleading Competition.

Squads from Bucyrus, Colonel Crawford, and Wynford gathered in circles on East Mansfield Street in front of the courthouse to await the results of the annual cheer competition. As the Bucyrus varsity cheerleaders accepted their second place trophy, the tension mounted between the Colonel Crawford and Wynford squads. But Jaylah Westberry crouched a little higher than her fellow Royal cheerleaders in anticipation of the announcement that she felt was coming.

Westberry, a junior, just won the varsity jump competition with her squadmate, senior Teresa Lambert, taking home second place. Lexi Eckert won the Junior Varsity jump competition and her JV squad took home first place in the overall competition. To say the least, the Royals were feeling pretty confident when the last school was finally announced.

The hard work paid off for the Royals, especially since the squad has struggled in recent years. But a strong athletic core showed that you should never count them out.

Westberry had a jump-off with Lambert in the varsity jump competition after the judges asked for a second performance to help choose a winner. Both young women flung themselves in the air, legs extended, toes pointed, and arms straight.

“It’s not just about how high you can go,” explained Westberry. “It’s how you prep, how you land.”

“Pointed toes, smiles,” added Lambert.

Westberry and Lambert both have a strong cheerleading background. Westberry, who has been cheering since she was five, began with competitive cheer before moving into school cheerleading. Lambert also has experience with competitive cheerleading, which typically involves tumbling and stunts, along with cheering.

“Our seniors, while they were in high school, they didn’t get to win. But we won pretty much everything this year, so that was pretty good,” Westberry said. “I think everyone expects Bucyrus to take home everything; it was good we won something,”

“It felt really good. We haven’t won in a while and getting first was really nice. We worked really hard this summer to get first place this year,” Lambert said. “I think it looks good for Wynford. We just need more people to come and support (us).”

“I think they’ve earned it,” said Brittany Maskey, Wynford’s second-year coach. “We’ve been practicing since May.”

Maskey has put her squad through the wringer to prepare for competition. The squad completed cheer camp in June and has been practicing for two hours twice a week. “They probably hate me by now because I make them practice so much,” Maskey said, chuckling. “But they’ve earned it. It’s been a rough couple of years, I think, so it’s nice to kind of finally be back in the running.

“A lot of people think that cheerleading is just something that you go out there and you do it and it’s done. But, really, it’s a lot of prep work, strengthening, conditioning and all of that good stuff,” Maskey added. “A lot of our practice has been focused on working out a lot to try to strengthen those muscles, which helps your jumps, it helps your muscles be tighter. Which is all stuff, technique-wise, that needs to be nice and clean and sharp for game day and competitions as well.”

The Bucyrus varsity squad won the Spirit Award for the third year in a row. Part of the Spirit Award involved getting the crowd engaged in the event with cheers.

“It’s a lot more exciting than winning the actual (cheer award),” senior Katy Kegley said.

“To know that our town’s got us,” added senior Haley Thomas.

“To know that we have full-on spirit and our whole audience is right there clapping, our boys are here with us,” Kegley said. “They always do every year. It’s a great thing that they support us since we’re supporting them every game.”

Below is a breakdown of the cheerleading competition awards.

Spirit Award - Bucyrus High School

JV Jump Competition

1st Lexi Eckert (Wynford)

2nd Sheena Parsons (Colonel Crawford)

Varsity Jump Competition

1st Jaylah Westberry

2nd Teresa Lambert

JV Cheer Competition

1st Wynford

2nd Colonel Crawford

Varsity Cheer Competition

1st Wynford

2nd Bucyrus

The final day of the Bratwurst Festival is Saturday. The event schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Aug. 18

ALL DAY – Honey Hill Petting Zoo – Ohio Mutual Family Fun Zone

  • 12 p.m. – New Washington Band – Wyandot Mutual Insurance Stage
  • 12 p.m. – Pretty Baby Contests – FC Bank Stage
  • 12 p.m. – Mini Moto Race – Ohio Mutual Family Fun Zone
  • 12 p.m. – Schines Art Park Stage brought to you by Ohio Mutual Insurance
  • 1 p.m. – Frog Jumping Contest – Courthouse
  • 1 p.m. – Mike & Larry – roving throughout the festival area
  • 1 p.m. – Hoop Shoot Contest – Ohio Mutual Family Fun Zone
  • 1 p.m. – Schines Art Park Stage brought to you by Ohio Mutual Insurance
  • 1:30 p.m. – OSU Alumni Band – Wyandot Mutual Insurance Stage
  • 2 p.m. – Ken & Mary – roving throughout the festival area
  • 2 p.m. – Schines Art Park Stage brought to you by Ohio Mutual Insurance
  • 3 p.m. – Richard Wiener – Wyandot Mutual Insurance Stage
  • 3 p.m. – Water Balloon Toss – Ohio Mutual Family Fun Zone
  • 4 p.m. – Parade – sponsored by Avita Health System
  • 6 p.m. – Matthew Hoover & the Supersaints – FC Bank Stage
  • 6 p.m. – Schines Art Park Stage brought to you by Ohio Mutual Insurance
  • 7 p.m. – United in Harmony – Wyandot Mutual Insurance Stage
  • 7 p.m. – Parade Awards and Queen’s Stroll – Schines Art Park Stage brought to you by Ohio Mutual Insurance
  • 8 p.m. – Stein Auction – Schines Art Park Stage brought to you by Ohio Mutual Insurance
  • 8:30 p.m. – McGuffey Lane – FC Bank Stage
  • 9 p.m. – Uke 3 – Schines Art Park Stage brought to you by Ohio Mutual Insurance

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