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Panther cheer places fourth at state

PHS cheerleaders pose with their fourth place trophy in the Class 3A Cheer non-stunt event at the State Spirit Competition on March 8. Back row left to right: McKenzie Thompson, Addie Miller, McKennah Buck, Alyssa Gould, Cierra Bridges, Kenadee Bott, Erin McCoy and Sarah Rodriguez. Front row, left to right: Mariah Lang, Annie Price, Deasia Daugherty, Tiffany Bergman, Brooke Tucker and Ashtin Decker. PHS cheerleaders pose with their fourth place trophy in the Class 3A Cheer non-stunt event at the State Spirit Competition on March 8. Back row left to right: McKenzie Thompson, Addie Miller, McKennah Buck, Alyssa Gould, Cierra Bridges, Kenadee Bott, Erin McCoy and Sarah Rodriguez. Front row, left to right: Mariah Lang, Annie Price, Deasia Daugherty, Tiffany Bergman, Brooke Tucker and Ashtin Decker. Photo courtesy Vicki Walsh

Powell High School’s cheerleaders recently took home a trophy at the State Spirit Competition in Casper on March 1. The PHS cheer squad competed in two events: non-stunt, where they placed fourth, and stunt, where they took sixth.

“I was very pleased with how the girls did,” said PHS head cheer coach Vicki Walsh. “In non-stunt I felt like they had gone out and performed the best they had the whole time I had seen them perform it.”

“For them to gain a trophy meant everything,” Walsh added of the fourth place finish. “They were so excited.”

WHSAA rules prohibit partner stunts, pyramids or lifts of any kind in the non-stunt competition. Standing tumbling is limited to cartwheels, front roll, side roll and front walkover from a stopped position, with no forward momentum. Poms are allowed with front/side rolls and one-hand cartwheels only.

Performances in both categories are limited to 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

“Even though they got sixth in stunt, they performed it the best I’ve seen them all year,” said Walsh. “I felt they went out and did the best that they could possibly do.”

Walsh added that the stunt competition is hard and very competitive.

“I think the  thing that our girls can look to is, ‘OK, what is going to be our goal next year?’” said Walsh. “We want to work harder at stunting to place better next year.”

The state spirit competition marks the conclusion of the cheer and dance seasons.

Cheerleaders have a long season, as they cheer at football and volleyball games in the fall and basketball games and wrestling matches in the winter. And, during homecoming week, the cheerleaders try to attend all PHS sporting events.

The cheer squad consists of 14 cheerleaders. That includes seniors Mariah Lang, Annie Price, Deasia Daugherty, Tiffany Burgman, Brooke Tucker and Ashtin Decker, plus McKenzie Thompson, Addie Miller, McKennah Buck, Alyssa Gould, Cierra Bridges, Kenadee Bott, Erin McCoy and Sarah Rodriquez.

Of the seniors, Walsh said they were a “very dedicated group of young ladies, work really hard, really fun. Just a fun group to be around, good leaders.”

While many teams hire a choreographer, Powell’s squad choreographed their own performances this year.

“A lot of those girls just really stepped up this season and helped with choreography,” Walsh said of the senior class.

Choreographing the routines includes a number of challenges, because all moves have to be within the WHSAA guidelines and the music must come from a pre-approved list due to copyright issues.

“I had a really good group this year; they’re all really talented,” said Walsh, adding that, “My underclassmen are very talented and very strong girls. Even though we are losing six (seniors) — which is a lot, it’s half — we still have half that are amazing.”

The PHS dance team also competed at the State Spirit Competition, placing sixth in the jazz dance competition. More about the dance team’s showing will appear in a future issue of the Tribune.

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