By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

In their first of two state qualifying competitions, the Brookings-Harbor High School cheerleading team took first place at the South Umpqua Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 12.

In order to qualify for the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) Cheerleading State Championships on Saturday, Feb. 9, a team must complete two OSAA-sanctioned competitions.

Completion of a competition requires a team not to get disqualified or marked out at the event.

The Bruins are participating in their first year of competition at OSAA sanctioned events - and making some noise in the process.

andquot;We have to fight a little harder because no one knows us yet,andquot; co-captain Ronnie Fairchild said. andquot;But we did well and we have a way different style of cheer than the other teams.andquot;

The Bruins competed in the 4A large division, beating out perennial powerhouse Pleasant Hill.

With 74.25 points, the Bruins had the second highest score at the 15 team competition, finishing behind the coed squad from 5A Springfield by a mere point.

andquot;We went in there and nobody really knew who we were,andquot; Coach Corinne Crochet said. andquot;But the girls did great and we walked in and took first.andquot;

Many of the stunts the Bruins use in their routine are derived from an East Coast style of cheer, where Crochet first coached cheerleading in Michigan.

andquot;The crowd received our stunts very well,andquot; Crochet said. andquot;We have a different style than the other teams. We're just trying to be as artistic and original as possible.andquot;

The Bruins will be participating in their second qualifying competition today (Jan. 26) at Sheldon High School against three other schools in their division.

andquot;We're still new to high school competition and we don't want to get big heads,andquot; co-captain Christina Johnson said. andquot;So we're just continuing to work really hard.andquot;

According to Crochet, the Bruin cheerleading team was also nominated as the spotlight team for the upcoming newsletter of the Oregon Cheerleading Coaches Association (OCCA).

The Bruins were nominated by the event coordinator of the South Umpqua Invitational, who is also a member of the OCCA board.