Westview vs. Newberg the rivalry that isn't

Oregon's top teams are back in the same division

Seniors Aarohl Asolkar of Westview and Abby Bowes of Newberg.                    Photo illustration by Cliff Pfenning.

Over the past decade no schools have won more cheerleading state titles than Westview and Newberg, and for a specific reason: they rarely compete against each other.

The teams are prolific at scoring above all other teams in their divisions, but their team make-up - large or small in the 6A division or even coed, has left them to compete in the same division just once in the last decade, 2019.

Since 2012, Newberg has won nine titles, and Westview seven, including six straight. In 2019, Westview edged Newberg by less than one point in scoring by judges. Newberg has won three straight since then.

For dramatic purposes of fan interest, the rivalry of Westview vs. Newberg is the top story heading into the OSAA/On Point Community Credit Union Cheerleading state championships this weekend at Oregon City - even though there isn't a rivalry at all.

Due to the nature of the sport in which judging decides the outcome, there isn't a way for teams to face off with each other to create a rivalry. Teams can only outscore one another - they can't beat an opponent. And, no one wants to beat another team by having that team make mistakes.

"I always want to win when they did the best they could, and so did we," Newberg coach Lisa Berg said Thursday. "We always focus on ourselves and being the best we can be. We don't focus on anyone else."

Newberg's cache of titles started in 2013, a year after the team finished second to Westview in the 6A Small division, which involves a team of 15 or fewer members. Newberg won the division, the school's first title, in 2013 when Westview moved to 6A/5A Large. Newberg has four more 6A small titles, two Coed small division titles, and two titles at 6A when the division wasn't divided by sizes.

Newberg's two 6A titles coincided with Westview moving to Coed, and winning those same years. Westview's large graduating class from last year moved the team back to the 6A small division this year. Westview's seniors said they noticed Newberg directly.

"We all saw that and we all went ... ‘yeah,’” Westview senior Amara Burnett said with a giant smile after competing Saturday at Tualatin. “They’re amazing and they’re our top competition.

“And, we have scouted them, definitely.”

The teams competed against one another during events this winter just once with Westview finishing ahead.

Newberg senior Abby Bowes said the Tigers are ready for Westview and the rest of the division, which has 14 teams total.

“(Westview) is great and they’re working super hard, but so are we and we’re ready to go and show that off and see what happens," she said. "You can't go in with any nerves because that's what throws you off."

While the Westview/Newberg duel is the top storyline this year, there's plenty of others within the championships, which is the largest on record with 97 teams. Since adding the Game Day division last year, the event has expanded from 62 teams in 2022, and will be held on two days for the first time.

The 26 teams in the Game Day divisions for 6A/5A and 4A/3A/2A/1A will compete tonight beginning at 6 p.m. The remaining seven divisions are split into three sessions Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.

All of this years routines will be available on ospn.us beginning Sunday.

The nine divisions feature five with returning champions, including 6A/5A Coed Game Day where Thurston and Central tied for first last year. Lebanon has a two-year run of titles at 5A.


6A LARGE: West Linn finished second to Westview last year and is the favorite to win its first title, with Lakeridge moving up after finishing second to Newberg at 6A Small last year. Aloha is looking to get back in the title ranks as well.

6A SMALL: David Douglas, Barlow and Forest Grove are top teams aiming for trophies.

5A: Ridgeview is prepped for a run at Lebanon for its first title having finished second the past four years. South Albany finished third last year.

4A: Gladstone had a three-year run of titles, but is moving to the newly-created 4A/3A/2A/1A Coed division. Third-place The Dalles moved to Coed Game Day leaving returning runner-up Sweet Home and Newport as the top challengers.

3A/2A/1A: With Rainier not competing this year after two-straight titles, Santiam Christian appears ready to return to the title ranks. The school is second all-time with 13 titles, one more than Westview. Springfield is the leader with 20.

6A/5A COED: McMinnville edged Tualatin last year, but the Wolves upgraded the boys on their team and are a heavy favorite this year with Redmond aiming to fit into the trophy ranks. Redmond has not finished first or second in any year.

4A/3A/2A/1A COED: Gladstone is a heavy favorite.

6A/5A COED GAME DAY: Thurston and Central are likely to duke it out again.

4A/3A/2A/1A COED GAME DAY: Returning champion Scio is back with The Dalles as a top challenger along with returning runner-up Westview Christian.

Of the 97 schools involved, 43 are coed.

Cliff Pfenning

Cliff is a lifelong resident of Oregon and has four decades of experience as a writer, photographer, videographer, broadcaster and now producer. He's a grad of Benson and the University of Oregon, and publishes Oregonsports.com as well as OSPN, which is scheduled for delivery as a streaming Mobile App in December.

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