For weeks, Powell High School cheerleaders prepared to compete against the top cheer teams in the state at the University of Wyoming. But they didn’t know until a week before the trip that …
For weeks, Powell High School cheerleaders prepared to compete against the top cheer teams in the state at the University of Wyoming. But they didn’t know until a week before the trip that they’d also get the chance to cheer for the Panther football team in the 3A state championship game.
“It was a first for all my girls getting to cheer at War Memorial and experience that excitement,” said head coach Vicki Walsh, adding that it was some of the girls’ first visit to Laramie. “So getting to cheer just added more fun for us and it was a very cool experience for the girls.”
A dozen of the 14 Panther cheerleaders competed at the 7220 Game Day Spirit Competition at UW on Nov. 16 — the day after the state football championship.
All classes — 2A, 3A and 4A — competed together, with cheer teams categorized by the number of members. With 12 cheerleaders, the Lady Panthers had the smallest team in the large division, where they competed against 11 other teams.
The Panther squad placed sixth, with three 4A teams and two 3A teams placing ahead of them.
“This competition is a great starting place for us to perform our game day routine before state and get feedback from the judges,” Walsh said. “You can then take those remarks and scores and tweak things to hopefully make it better for state.”
Walsh described it as a fun day, saying it’s “a lot less stressful than state.”
“We get to see all the other schools and have fun supporting each other,” the coach said. “That is the one thing I like about this competition — everyone is there supporting and cheering each other along ... the environment is exciting and so energetic!”
This is the second year the University of Wyoming Cheer Program has organized the 7220 Game Day Spirit Competition, and the Lady Panthers attended last year as well.
PHS cheerleaders’ next cheer competition will be the Heart Mountain Regional Spirit Competition in Cody on Feb. 15. The Panther squad attended the competition the past two years.
While it’s a pretty small event, Walsh said it’s “another great opportunity to perform in front of judges and get feedback.”
The first year the Panthers attended in Cody, they got second place; last year, they won first. The PHS cheer team went on to win the state championship in the Game Day Cheer category at the 2019 State Spirit Competition in March.
Cindy Jacobs serves as the team’s assistant coach.