Seniors highlighted at OPHS Stunt senior night

Final Stunt home game of the season

OPHS Stunt seniors were highlighted last Tuesday at their last home game of the season. Team members had smiles on their faces and even a few tears.

“Each of the seniors had one or two girls that gave a short speech of a fun memory they remember about that senior. There were a lot of emotions and most of the girls were tearing up when speeches were given. I got very sad giving my speech because it is a reminder that the seniors are leaving our team,” sophomore stunt athlete Olivia Papanicolaou said.

The event was emotional for all team members, senior or otherwise. 

“I thought it was really fun that it was senior night. My friends and close family were here and we were just a really good team today … It is fun because seniors are being highlighted and it’s extra special,” senior stunt athlete Maria Wadel-Heimland said.

Stunt is a relatively new sport at OPHS, and not many students know the components of the sport or how the game works. 

“I have no idea what stunt is. I honestly don’t know how it works. All I know is that there are competitions and it is kind of like cheerleading,” sophomore Pia Atal said.

Stunt derives from cheerleading in the way that teams are competing against each other instead of cheering on another sports team. The scoring for stunt may seem complicated, however, the officials who judge the competition determine which team receives a point for a given routine.

“Games are fast, they are only about an hour long and we come about 30 minutes before because we have to warm up 20 minutes before the game. We get 15 of those 20 minutes to warm up, the other five is the national anthem, coin toss, and all that fun stuff, then the game begins,” OPHS Head Stunt coach Tianna Sondgeroth said​.

Each stunt game is between two schools and consists of four quarters, each with a different skill that is being performed. All of the points are deducted, gained, and ultimately decided by a single official that overlooks and compares the skills of both teams. 

“Quarter one is partner stunts, quarter two is pyramids and tosses, quarter three is tumbling, and then quarter four is cumulative, so they put everything together and we perform it all at once,” Sondgeroth said. 

The OPHS stunt team has been improving their skills throughout the season as they are constantly practicing after school. The team competes the routines they have practiced at each game, the results of many hours of practice beginning to show.

“I was really overall super impressed with the girls. From what I saw tonight and every night before is just gradual improvements and it is just getting better, and I’m just really excited for them,” Sondgeroth said​.