Cheerleaders capture first at Hawkeye Spirit Invitational

By: Allie Taiber

A nervous sweat trickled down the palms of the competition cheer team as they intertwined each other’s hands, eyes clenched shut, craving a successful victory. Locked in suspenseful anticipation, a dead silence filled the gym as the team waited for the announcing voice to proclaim each triumph. With no mention yet of a Cedar Falls win, the girls assumed a second place sweep.

“Runner up goes to Mason City!” declared the announcer. The team shot up from its position, and members looked into each other’s eyes in awe. “And lastly, first place winners, and grand champions goes to Cedar Falls High School!” Cheers, tears and smiles echoed across the gym. An unexpected win and a grand champion performance shocked the crowd.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, the team took first place and the grand champion trophy at the Hawkeye Spirit Invitational, its first competition of the season, against six other high schools. After bringing its skills, the team decided not to back down.

“It’s always pretty exciting when you hear your team’s name announced in first place. I felt very proud of all the hardwork that everyone on the team put in,” senior Valentine Komen said.

With several girls out due to injury, the team struggled as it made efforts to work together. “We had to work with what we had and really come together as a team,” junior Rachel Eastman said.

Not feeling as prepared as usual, and even though they were named champions of their performance, the girls feel there’s a lot to work on. “The performance was far from flawless,” coach Tami Doyle said. As it’s very early in the season, the team agreed there’s lots to do. “We have lots of difficulty to add and just the cleaning up of technique,” Doyle said.

With regular practices on early mornings, after school and late at night, the girls are not shying away from the competition. “Our coaches are preparing us really well for State this year. Even though it’s really busy, the practice always pays off,” Eastman said.

The team’s next competition is the Tiger Invite this Saturday, Oct. 24, at the high school. The cheerleaders hope to use the competition to further improve their skills for future performances.

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