Despite wearing a large leg brace, Michigan Center High School senior Lauryll Samon competes in a Cascades Conference jamboree at home on Tuesday. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
The last moment on the competitive cheer mat for Michigan Center High School senior Lauryll Samon was not going to be her injured in the first jamboree of the season.
With the encouragement of her coaches and teammates, Samon competed in the first round of the Cascades Conference jamboree at MCHS on Tuesday.
Despite having a torn ACL, Samon completed all of the jumps helping the Cardinals take an 11-point lead in the first round.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Addison High School had an exceptional third round and erased a 25-point deficit to win the second Cascades Conference jamboree of the season.
The Panthers won the three-round competition with a score of 736.6. Michigan Center was second (715), Vandercook Lake placed third (674), and Grass Lake was fourth (605). Napoleon, Hanover-Horton, and East Jackson rounded out the scores.
Samon slipped in the first jamboree of the season at East Jackson and tore her ACL.
“Lauryll is a leader … a huge part of the heart and soul of our team,” MCHS Coach Jessica Trefry said. “We wanted to give her a chance to compete again and were willing to take the penalty (if she didn’t complete all of the jumps in round one).
“I believe it was the right thing to do.”
Samon said cheerleading has been the one constant in her life since fourth grade. She was part of what Trefry called a “feeder program” for girls in elementary school.
The result of the program is seen on the walls of the high school gymnasium. The Cardinals have won five Division 4 titles in 2009 and 2011-2014. Michigan Center has qualified for the Michigan High School Athletic Association state finals 16 of the last 17 seasons.
“Those banners and the girls who came before us are our idols,” Samon said. “They laid the foundation for us.”
Samon will have surgery on the knee in less than two weeks and figures it will take four to six months for rehabilitation. She plans to cheer at Wayne State University where she will study mortuary science.
“Cheer is a completely different sport than any other,” Samon said. “It is a team sport where Coach Trefry is coaching us to be productive, efficient women in life.
“Her lessons go way beyond the mat.”
Samon proved that on Tuesday in a short round-one performance, giving it her all one more time.