Esky primes for state tournament


Mike Mattson | Daily Press Members of the Manistique cheer team compete in Saturday’s Eskymo Elks Invitational.

ESCANABA — The Escanaba competitive cheer team used the Eskymo Elks Invitational Saturday as preparation for the upcoming state tournament.

Esky was the lone Division 3 squad competing and posted a three-round score of 733.22.

“Obviously, there was nobody else in our division and we didn’t have to fight as hard,” Esky coach Kris Langlois said. “We used it to better ourselves. ‘What did we get at our last competition? Let’s increase our scores.’ And we did that. We did our job. The scores were decent.

“Next week we will be down at districts and that’s where it really starts to push in.”

Norway won Division 4 with a score of 670.52 and Manistique finished second at 618.4.

Mike Mattson | Daily Press Members of the Escanaba cheer team compete at the Eskymo Elks Invitational.

In the middle school competition, Escanaba (429.42) placed first followed by Gladstone (347.8) and Norway (337.58).

District competition will take place Saturday, with Esky heading to Shepherd High School. The top four teams at Shepherd will advance to regionals Feb. 24 at Rockford High School, with the state championships set for March 3 in Grand Rapids.

The Eskymos are hoping for a strong post-season run after finishing third in districts and eighth in regionals last season. They were district champions in 2016.

“It’s good competition,” Langlois said about the district. “We are hoping to take that title back this year. We want it back.”

Escanaba has gone undefeated in its U.P. competition this season and hopes to ride that momentum into the state tournament.