Competition cheerleaders heading to state contest

By: Annebeth Ahrenholz

After placing 6th in Fort Dodge on Sunday, Nov. 1, at Iowa Central Community College, the competition cheer team is headed to Des Moines for state cheer on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Junior Sammie Alexander has been competition cheering for three years and said she is excited about the competition.

“I’m nervous about our competition. Ames, Valley and Waukee are all really good,” she said, though she said she is happy about the way the team performed at the first two competitions this year.

She is also looking forward to hanging out with the team and watching other teams at State.

“Before we had to do a competition, we weren’t doing very well, but then we realized we needed to pick it up, and we all did. We started hitting really advanced stuff,” she said.

Sophomore Cat Kime is also excited for State. “We started off on a pretty good note, but then it got a little bit rough because our confidence boost went down. We went in knowing we couldn’t win. With some of the injuries on the team, we have no clue what is going to happen. As long as we keep pushing each other forward, we’ll be fine,” she said.

“We just need to keep encouraging each other,” senior Valentine Komen added. “The team is working well with what we have. State is going to go as best as we can push ourselves.”

Junior Rachel Eastman said that this year State is going to be a little bit different due to how divisions are grouped.

“In hopes to adjust to the changes that were made, we’ve been competing a lot more this season with intentions of being more prepared for what State has in store for us,” she said.

“We just have to continue working with what we are given as a team all the way up until the day of State.”

Eastman along with many of the other cheerleaders agree that state week is one of the most stressful weeks but also fun.

“We really come together to try put on the best routine we can,” she said.

Komen agreed. “One of the most exciting things about state week is that we can all bond and have dress up days,” she said.

Senior Lexis Powell has been competing on the competition cheer team for four years now.

Her season has been great but took a bit of an unexpected turn due to injuries.

“The summer was really good. We improved a lot as a team. Our first competition went surprisingly better than we thought,” she said.

They got first at both.

“Our last competition that we went to was interesting. We weren’t prepared to go up against as many teams as we did. We got really scared and let stupid things happen, but we are rebuilding for State,” Powell said.

The team has hit new skills that they have not been able to as a team before. This has been Powell’s first year as a flyer.

“It’s been interesting to me that I can do the skills that flyers can because the last few years I have been basing them,” she said.

Powell said that overall they have grown as a team and that they are very unified.

She is looking forward to being on mat for State, but either way is hopeful that her team will be able to do what everybody knows it can.

“We can go up against Valley and Ames and beat them because we have never had this kind of skill before.”

Powell said the team has worked together very well this season.

“We definitely have worked well together a lot better than past years. The upperclassmen have acted more as leaders than like dictators. We are overall more encouraging this year and wish the best for everyone,” she said.

Powell is excited for what will potentially come out of State.

“I’m personally proud of my team and Abigail Olsen for putting up with the pressure that our coach has put on us and working through every injury and illness that has happened to our team this year. We are looking forward to competing for fun after State. Also, I am proud of all the girls that made All American this year and honor squads.”

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