J ust over a year removed from a ninth place finish, the Powell High School cheer team made a significant jump in the game day state spirit competition — finishing in fourth place with a score …
Just over a year removed from a ninth place finish, the Powell High School cheer team made a significant jump in the game day state spirit competition — finishing in fourth place with a score of 83.8 on Wednesday in Casper.
The state spirit competition was scheduled for Jan. 27, but was delayed after judges were not able to make it to Casper due to inclement weather.
“It was very unfortunate we did have to move to March only because you practice so much and prepare yourself mentally to compete and when it got postponed it was a total bummer because you feel like you are so ready and excited for that day to happen,” coach Vicki Walsh said. “But having the competition moved to March definitely helped with more practice time.”
She said that moving the date did not stop the team from continuing to focus on what needed to be done, working hard over the extra month to make the adjustments they needed to do.
Some of the routine was adjusted, and those adjustments paid off at the state competition.
Walsh said that cheer is a subjective sport and can come down to judges’ preference in that competition.
“The past few years the competition has moved to a UCA score sheet and it is really tough, if you get any deductions it can really drop you in the overall scoring,” Walsh said. “We got zero deductions this year, so that really helped us out. We really focused on the score sheets and what was needed to gain the points we needed and I think that really helped us out.”
Powell finished with 83.8 points, .75 points behind third place Douglas, while first place Mountain View won with 87.3 points just ahead of second place Cody with 87.15.
This is the first trophy for the Panthers in two years, as they continue to grow as a program.
“I was so proud of these kids and how much they improved from last year. It really was a huge testament to them and how hard they worked,” Walsh said.
Walsh said the team will lose two seniors this year, and bring back 17 from this year’s squad.
“With tryouts just around the corner I am hoping all the kids will come back,” Walsh said. “This team has grown so much this year and I think it will only continue to grow. They have so much potential and are always setting personal and team goals to make them better.”
Walsh said she hopes the team will continue to have fun and grow together, referring to themselves as a family whenever they are together.
“They really do have a special bond and I know they have big goals for next year,” Walsh said. “They were so happy with their fourth place finish and know that just bringing home hardware no matter what place was very special to them all. I see big things for them for next year. I couldn’t be more proud.”
After finishing out the state competition the cheer team remained in Casper, helping cheer on the Panther basketball teams in six different games at the state tournament.