Cheer Poised for State Championship

Luke Wienecke, Sports Editor

    As cheer state draws closer, the team says it’s working harder than ever to perfect their routine. After months and months of practice, the cheerleaders look poised to take state for the fourth year in a row. 

    “I feel good about it because we’ve practiced way more than we’ve ever done and we’re way more prepared than we usually are,” senior Julianne Bentley said. 

    Even after working on the routine since July, the team is still engaged in intense practice until Jan. 30.

    “It’s gonna be heavy, heavy practice until state” captain Grace Thielke said. 

    Though all sports have been challenged this year by Covid-19 protocol, the cheer team has been disrupted differently than most sports.

    “If one person’s out, you really can’t practice fully because the point of the routine is to hit it with all stunt groups and not mess up or anything.” Bentley said, “In other sports, if someone’s not there, you can usually just sub someone in. But for us that would change the entire dynamic.”

In another challenge for the squad this year, masks have to be worn at all times during practice, since the cheerleaders are in such close contact. Covid-19 also led to the cancellation of regional cheer competitions, usually the first step towards a championship. Despite the setbacks, with the success of the Seniors having won state the last three years, they have learned some valuable lessons from the hard work.

“Mandy (head coach) is hard on us, but it’s also a good thing because I feel like the past four years, I’ve learned how to not let myself take the easy way out because it never works, and every time that our team puts in all the effort it has always ends up working out for us,” Thielke said. 

State will be held at Union High school Jan. 30. Since in-person attendance is limited, the team will have two different showings before the big day. These will be held in the gym Jan. 20 and Jan. 27.