The number 0.3 holds a unique significance for the Newberg High School cheerleading team. It was the margin by which they lost the 2019 state championship; this year it was their margin of victory in the final Class 6A competition.
Newberg won its seventh state title in eight years last week, achieving a team score of 166.6 and narrowly defeating second place David Douglas (166.3) in the 6A division.
It was an imperfect day for the Tigers to be sure, but they got it done and brought home the hardware.
"It has been an incredible run to this point," NHS coach Lisa Berg said. "We had a tough week and a half with someone who became ineligible due to grades, so we had to rework an entire routine and that was pretty stressful. They did it and pulled out a great win."
This iteration of Newberg's cheer squad only had three seniors but came together at the right time.
Overcoming the unexpected need to rework its routine says a lot about their character, Berg said, and it didn't even take their best performance to win the title.
Newberg scored a 62.3 in the Building Skills portion of the competition, a 55.3 in Tumbling/Jumps and a 49 for its overall routine.
"We did not have a clean routine whatsoever, but a win is a win and we'll take it," Berg said. "They became a true family through it all and they wanted to do it for each other, for family and for past alumni. Everyone involved in the program realized it was pretty special.
"Our three captains led the program and did their part. Theresa Lundgren, Emme Coleman and Olivia Brodeur were all incredible leaders for this program all year long and throughout their careers. They led vocally and by example."
While Lundgren, Coleman and Brodeur depart the program, those who remain will aim to keep Newberg's championship tradition alive next season. The Tigers won six straight before last year's second-place finish and have been strong contenders at the regional and national levels as well.
This season was special, Berg said, because of how this group of players and coaches came together and grew closer than a typical team. That chemistry showed itself even in adverse moments, she said, and led to this state championship.
"I feel like we ended up being each other's second family," Berg said. "The coaching staff was amazing stepping up this year and helping when I needed it. It takes a village and everyone played an important part this year."
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