Monday, April 22nd, 2024 Church Directory
Hive Cheerleading. Front row: Essence Wehye, Lily Olson, Mishell Flores, Carter Starks and Lexi Thrall. Back Row: Miley Stephani, Morgan Holmen, Eric Dalmeida, Ashlynn Johnson, Tessa Wagner, Jayanna Troland, Macey Stephani and Tian Vongphakdy. (Submitted Photo).
Honeybees. Front row: McKinley Beacom, Zaidee Dooner, Gizzelle Dean and Ezmae Dean. Back row: Savannha LaClaire Katie Ross, Bailee Stephani-Peterson, Bella Gerou, Mackenzie Miller, Zoey Dooner and Cylee Mohawk. (Submitted Photo).

Hive and Honeybees do well at local tournament

The Big Lake Hive competition cheerleading organization had a successful day taking home two first place wins at the State Cheerleading Competition, which was held at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium Jan. 27, 2024. 

The Big Lake Hive competed in the traditional recreational 10-18 division and the Big Lake Honeybees competed traditional recreational 10 and under. Both teams “hit zero”, (which means in cheerleading terms, zero safety violations). Both teams had an amazing season this year with the Hive taking home seven first places and two second places and the Honeybees with four first places and one second place. This success is a great accomplishments for a cheerleading association that been banded for only two years.  

The Hive team also won a bid to go to The Quest, which is national competition held in Florida in March; however, the team chose to go to WOW Factor, a Midwest Cheerleading and Dance championship. The decision was a difficult one to make but parents, the board, and cheerleaders all made the decision together. It was in the best interest of our families to stay local, to be more financially responsible and affordable for the families. 

The Hive competed at this event Sat. and Sun, Feb. 24-25 at the Convention Center in Minneapolis. This competition allowed them to compete against more teams and it was to be a great experience for the cheerleaders. 

Their weekend started Friday night with an evening full of team bonding and relaxing with friends, family, and teammates including the Honeybees.  After day one of a two-day competition, Big Lake Hive was standing at second place. They were up against three other teams at various different skill levels, some being a higher skill level. 

On day two, the cheerleaders performed amazingly by nailing their entire routine and executing every stunt. Both days the Big Lake Hive received zero safety violations and their final score was based on their performances from both days. The Hive team took home second place in the Traditional Rec open division and second place in the overall traditional recreational category.  

The team will be hosting multiple open practice days called “Bring a Friend to Practice”. They will be held at the Independence Elementary Stem School. The first Bring a Friend was held on March 1 and was a huge success with a lot of protentional new cheerleaders laughing and having fun. 

The next Bring a Friend events are, March 26 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. (in the stage), and April 12 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. (in the cafeteria). They welcome all children (male and female) kindergarten through 12th grade, and all skill levels from beginner to advanced with no tryouts. 

“All the hard work has finally paid off and was so worth it,” said Carter Starks, a senior at Big Lake High School and a fifth year cheerleader. “With the Hive we have created a family that is loving and dedicated.” 

Starks has attended UCA Nationals two times, won state championships two years in a row with the Hive, as well as being an MMEA All-State member. He also is a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the Big Lake Choir and recently earned a perfect 40/40 on his solo at a music festival contest. 

“It has been one of the best sports that I could have chosen to be in,” said Lexi Thrall, a senior at Big Lake High School and a fourth year cheerleader. 

Thrall is in EPIC, which is a drug prevention group for four years, Epic goes out and helps better the community/kids that have been impacted by drugs and alcohol to help make it a better and safer place. When Lexi first joined The Hive two years ago, she would not have thought she would be with a team with two state championships and first runner up at WOW Factor.

“The team is like a second family,” said Eric Dalmeida, a first-year cheerleader. “We work hard, have fun, and I just love how accepting everyone has been of me from experienced cheerleaders to the organization’s president who I call ‘Mama Anita’. She has allowed me to be myself and grow as a person through this experience. Coach Essence is awesome!” 

“She is firm when she needs to be, while creating a fun environment to practice and learn new skills,” she continued. “Coach Tian is encouraging and genuinely invested in the team’s success not only in cheerleading but in our future as well with encouraging words and insight.”

This year the organization put on a “Grinch Breakfast” (watch for updates from the Grinch on when he will return). They have also worked at Spud Fest, the Polar Plunge, Groom My Friend, Sherburne County Fair and several others for fundraising. People are invited to cheer and stunt with them at the Raise and Shine Festival for the Early Childhood Program March 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. 

In two years, they have been able to double the size of their team and they look forward to a continued growth and success next season. 

Check them out at Big Lake Hive Cheerleading Facebook page and their website, for more information. Email them at with any questions.