Three Panthers make Wyoming cheer team

Posted 4/22/21

Powell will be well-represented on the University of Wyoming’s cheer team. 

Seniors Geordan Weimer and Jaxton Braten made the university’s team, joining alumnus Brody Karhu, who …

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Three Panthers make Wyoming cheer team

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Powell will be well-represented on the University of Wyoming’s cheer team. 

Seniors Geordan Weimer and Jaxton Braten made the university’s team, joining alumnus Brody Karhu, who was a freshman on the squad in 2020-21. Weimer was a member of the 2020-21 PHS cheer team, while Braten didn’t compete for the team in high school. 

Weimer began cheering for Powell in 2019. After the state spirit competition in January, the senior decided he wanted to prolong his cheer career and try out for UW’s squad. He believes he will be well-prepared for college cheer after his two seasons at the high school. 

“The fun atmosphere here helped me,” Weimer said. “My partner, Morgan Schmidt, and I spent a lot of time in practice just trying new things and experimenting skill-based things.”

Though Braten didn’t cheer for PHS, he has significant experience with dance, which he has participated in for most of his life. He noticed Karhu and Weimer excelling at the craft and wanted to join them.

“It looked really fun, and I’ve always been into that side of the arts,” Braten said. 

As the seniors make the jump to cheering at the collegiate level, Karhu — soon to be a college sophomore — hopes to set an example for them. 

“I’m excited to help them learn new skills, especially stunts because it’s a blast and you have the opportunity to do some cool stuff,” Karhu said. “I know these guys will have just as much fun as I’ve had, and I’ll continue to be a resource for them.”

While PHS cheer coach Vicki Walsh didn’t have the chance to coach Braten, she knows all three of them will excel together as Cowboy cheerleaders.

“They’re going to be awesome there,” she said. “UW is a great opportunity for them to continue to cheer.

“Geordan [Weimer] is probably one of the hardest-working kids I know. I don’t know Jaxton [Braten] as well, but just from what I’ve seen in other things he does, he’s going to fit in really well there. I know Brody [Karhu] has thrived down there and really loves it,” Walsh said.

Weimer and Braten had the chance to become acquainted with Karhu and the other members of UW’s cheer team when on campus for tryouts last weekend. Though they were already excited about the possibility of cheering for the school, getting to know their future teammates has them counting down the days until the fall semester begins.

“It was really fun and they all seem like really good people,” Weimer said. 

Braten added, “Just meeting all the new people and becoming good friends with everyone was awesome.”

The current PHS seniors will cheer at Wyoming’s home football, basketball, volleyball and wrestling events, as well as possibly some road events.

In the 2020-21 season, Karhu was UW’s only cheerleader from northwest Wyoming. Now, with two more guys from his hometown joining the squad, he can’t help but feel proud of the entire Powell community. 

“I think it’s awesome,” Karhu said. “Powell is full of great programs, and adding two more PHS students to UW Division I athletics helps represent that we have some high-quality programs and coaching staff.”

Powell High School has only had male cheerleaders for the past two seasons. Sending three to cheer at the state’s largest university in such a short time is a remarkable accomplishment — one Walsh is particularly proud of. 

“I’m super excited and I couldn’t be more proud of the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, you’re from Powell,’” she said. “That’s pretty awesome.”

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