Oxford Chargerettes win two state championship titles

Addison Franks, staff writer

For the first time in OHS history, the Oxford Chargerette dance team won two state championship titles. The Chargerettes are led by Coach Antolik and captains Katie Brewer and Audrey Case.

The Chargerettes won first place in the pom division, where they competed against nine other teams and routines, and first place in game day where they competed against eleven other teams.

Although Coach Antolik is the current Chargerette coach, the Chargerette team started the season being led by Coach Lyons, who recently retired as the head coach. Both Case and Brewer agree that while there was a transition period between coaches, the team was able to adjust and move forward in a positive way with Coach “A.”

“It’s been taking some time getting used to it because Coach Lyons built the program from the ground up and she was the original coach who knew what she wanted and knew what she was looking for,” Case said. “But having a change in coaching also allowed us as a team to figure out how we wanted to run practices from now on, and how we wanted the team to look or if we wanted to make any changes within the team.”

The team had to prepare much differently this year due to competing in two competitions. They had to be prepared to compete much earlier than they normally would. This resulted in practicing more in the summer months.

“Preparation was definitely different. We hit a lot closer to state season, a lot earlier than normal. We had to be stage ready by the beginning of October instead of at the end of November. So we started practicing all of our routines that were going on stage,” Case said. “We started practicing our routines that were going on stage at the end of July towards the beginning of August instead of waiting until October.”

Coaches and captains agree that outside help from other dance coaches played a big role in their success this season. Throughout the season they partnered with Rebelettes head coach Rachel Levetzow and prepared at the Tad Pad before state.

“So the whole week prior to state we go to the Tad Pad and Coach Rachel helps out. I think that being in that college environment changes the tone of practice, whether Coach Rachel is there or not, being in the Tad Pad just makes the girls realize it’s crunch time,” Antolik said. “Coach Rachel has been a judge for state competitions in the past so she can help us notice the little things that we hadn’t noticed.”

Antolik’s goal for the season was that the girls would be happy and confident in their performance and that winning would just be a bonus.

“I always tell the girls that our goal isn’t necessarily to get first place, that’s just an added bonus,” Antolik said. “I just want them to come off of the floor at competition feeling confident with the performance that they did.”

Antolik adds that her goals for the season were met and more after a successful year.

“I felt like even before getting the results that we had gotten first place in both of our routines, all of the girls came off of the floor saying that was the best we’ve ever done and even if we don’t get first place our score will be the highest it’s ever been,” Antolik said. “Hearing the girls say that makes me happier as a coach than winning first place.”

The girls feel that these coaching changes and a shorter amount of time to practice before state caused the team to have a closer relationship than ever before. Their strong bond with each other made everyone work harder not for themselves but for each other.

“Our bond was definitely a backbone in this season. Each girl was very supportive of one another and having that support from all teammates made all of the long practices over the weekends,” Brewer said. “Not only more enjoyable, but we knew we were able to get things done and that we could be productive.”

There were many girls on the team that did not compete at the state competition but were still at practices leading up to state. The support as a group from other teammates while practicing for such a big thing helped the team in their routine in the end.

“The end was intense but we were all together,” Case said. “It was like a group of best friends and sisters all in one and it made every practice so fun all the way to the end of the season.”