Journey to the Competitive Cheerleading States

The competition cheer team qualifies for the semi-finals at the state championship

Waiting+to+go+on+the+competition+mat%2C+sophomore+Marissa+Hudick+fixes+her+teammates+bow.+Junior+Kori+Kestory+had+help+from+a+cheer+sister.+%22I+felt+more+comfortable+as+the+season+went+on%2C%22+Kestory+said.+%22It+has+become+more+of+a+family%2C+even+though+it+was+nervous+to+start.%22

Waiting to go on the competition mat, sophomore Marissa Hudick fixes her teammates bow. Junior Kori Kestory had help from a cheer sister. "I felt more comfortable as the season went on," Kestory said. "It has become more of a family, even though it was nervous to start."

Meredyth Rennaker

Practicing to hit their pyramid solid, the competition cheer team works to make their routine more difficult. The Competitive Cheerleading State Championship will be held at the University of Florida on Friday, Jan. 31. The competition cheer team will perform their routine in order to be eligible to move on to the state finals.

This is the second year there is a competition cheer team. Last year, the team made it to states but did not move on to the finals.

“The team this year differs from the team last year because it feels like there is more effort,” sophomore Lauren Musson said. “People want to do good.”

The team is comprised of varsity and junior varsity sideline cheerleaders who were selected to be on the team. The cheerleaders on the team range from freshmen students to seniors.

“A lot of us have grown up cheering together,” freshman Madison Sanchez said. “We have a bond that has been growing since we were younger. Since we go to school together and also practice together at the same time, it made our bond stronger.”

The cheer team faced challenges during this season that could have held them back. They worked around those obstacles and made it to the state championship.

“We had a few times where people missed competitions, and you have to work your schedule around that,” junior Kori Kestory said. “Everyone’s schedule is different and there is always someone injured, that is just how cheer is. There are always complications, but we work around them.”

The competition team will be competing against other high schools in the same division as them to win the state champion title. From previous competitions this season they are using advice from judges to add and update their routine.

“Every practice after a competition, the coaches read us the score sheets and tell us what we need to work on and what we are going to work on for our next performance,” Sanchez said. “We have been working on bringing up our difficulty, so we are more competitive with the other teams in our division.”

To achieve the state champion title would be the first for competitive cheer in. ‘Cheer is not a sport’ could be shut down once achieving this title.

“Winning states would mean that we have what it takes,” Musson said. “A lot of people at this school doubt us.”