Irish cheer team takes second at state

At regionals flyers Jada Carbin 10, Taylor French 10, Lecy Starr 12, Josie Weaver 9, and Olivia Dunham 9 successfully do their stunts.

Abby Edwards

     The music stops, the celebrating starts, and all of the hard work put in during the cheer season finally pays off.

     From July to the end of September, the cheer team practiced for hours to perfect and master a state champion worthy routine. 

    “It’s definitely the hardest season we go through,” senior Natalie Waddell said. “There’s such a quick turnaround time from the first practice to the competition, which is only about three months.”

    After winning state last year, the team set goals at the beginning of the season to help them hopefully become 5 time state champions the past six years. 

    “Last year, it was about ‘chase the feeling’ and just about hitting,” sophomore Rylan Turner said. “I guess this year it was too. It was just this year was more about getting along and actually connecting as a team.”

    Along with the challenges that come with having to compete to be the best in the state, the team had to come together like a family after season long troubles and differences to have a chance to take home gold.

    “We actually came together, literally on the state mat, for our first time ever,” Turner said. “That’s when everyone finally decided that this is the time to do it.”

    Already struggling with the pressures of being the reigning state champs, the team got to meet and train a whole new group of girls right from the start.

    “I loved everyone there,” freshman and first time state team member Bellah Foster said. “I love the atmosphere. I mean, yeah, it was hard at times, but we pulled through, and it was fun, and at the end of the time, I was sad it was over.”

From the showing performance to regionals and finally to state, the cheer team put in many hours to continue getting the routine down, which was proven when they jumped a total of four spots, going from 6th at regionals to 2nd in the state.

    “We have a team where half of the girls are new and have never been on the Irish cheer state team, so some of that fear of going out on the mat for the first time, competing for the first time, and just not knowing how the competition works at regionals, definitely had an impact on our outcome,” Waddell said. 

    After all of the challenges they faced, the cheer team was able to come out as second in the state. 

    “We really gave it our all at state and we were able to come out and be state runners up,” sophomore Taylor French said.