Cheerleaders find mixed results at state cheer contest

After mixed results at the state cheerleading competition on Saturday, Nov. 5, the cheerleading team assessed the lessons from the competition.

The competition and sideline squads placed sixth but the senior stunt team captured a second place finish. There was still optimism in the midst of the strife.

“We placed sixth at State, not because we did bad, but simply because other teams did better,” Izzy Steffner said. “We put on a great routine, only making a few mistakes, but other teams had more difficulty and fewer mistakes, putting us at sixth place.”

Senior Emma Fletcher also acknowledged the challenges of cheering. “Cheer you can practice and hit things all you want, but it’s never a for sure thing that things are going to hit,” Fletcher said.

This year’s finish leaves lots of room for improvement, but junior Catherine Kime spoke highly of the team’s goals for next year.

“Next year, we’re gonna push ourselves even harder. We are going to work better and get more advanced with stunts and tumbling,” Kime said. “Ultimately, our goal is to get first place next year because the feeling of sixth was so hard on us.”

Though the team avoided major injuries in their midst this year, there were still problems. Sophie Poe, a senior and main backspot for the team, came down with pneumonia three weeks ago, causing her to miss the two competitions prior to State, and she and was only cleared in the nick of time to be able to compete with her teammates.

One tradition the team will try to maintain is reliance on leadership from veteran members.

“I’ve been on the team since my freshman year, and the team has gotten smaller and smaller as the years went on,“ Steffner said. “There’s only 15 girls on the team, and when we started as freshmen, there were 25.”

Five of the 15 members on this year’s team are seniors.

“Cheerleading has taught me to be able to work well with a team and to be a great leader,” Steffener said. “I’ve learned a lot from the seniors before me, and being the one the underclassmen look up to makes me be a better teammate and work hard to be at our full potential. I will never forget my teammates and all the amazing friendships I’ve made throughout the years and all the crazy times we’ve had together.”

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