For the past 14 years, Nicole “Niki” Hills has been a driving force behind the success of the Lake Orion Competitive Cheerleading program. Niki spent 10 years as an assistant and the last 4 as the head coach of the Dragons. Niki helped build the program with her Mother, past head coach Nancy Deavila, and has kept the Dragons among the state’s elite. In her four years as the head coach, Niki has guided the girls to the elite 8 and the state finals each year. This year presented a large challenge for Niki, given that over half her team was made up of freshmen and sophomores. Niki said her team dug in, worked hard, and improved each week. She said she was so proud of her girls because they fought their way back to the state finals. Each year to prepare her teams, Niki enters the girls in challenging invitationals. The tough competition along with competing in the OAA Red, the toughest cheerleading league in the state, prepares the girls for the tough road to the state finals. Athletic Director Chris Bell had this to say about Niki, “We have the greatest cheerleading coach around. She learned from a great one in her mother Nancy and Niki has continued our great tradition of success in competitive cheer. Her professionalism and her contagious energy help drive the program. But most of all what shines with Niki is her love for her girls and her love of coaching. She is tremendous role model for those girls. I am so proud that she has been recognized as the Coach of the Year. It is most deserving.” Niki credits her assistant coaches, Samantha Smart and Gary Willick along with her girls for any success that has come her way. Congratulations Nicole Hills, The Competing Cheer Coaches Association of Michigan Division One Coach of the Year.