WHS Competition Cheer Wins Back-to-Back State Championship
Waukee High School’s (WHS) competition cheer team placed first at state in the coed division, making them back-to-back state champions. The competition was held on November 5 in the Jacobson Exhibition Center at the state fairgrounds. With determination and hard work, they continue on their path to earning a national title.
“It’s about getting along and interacting with one another. We come together on the mat as a team. Not only cheering together but winning together is a really cool feeling” said senior, Megan Baldwin.
WHS competed in the coed division which consisted of five teams- Waukee, Davenport West, Fort Dodge, Linn-Mar and Knoxville. The teams were scored in various categories: standing and running tumbling, jumps, coed and all-girl stunting, baskets, pyramid, cheer, motions, dance, choreography and overall impression. Not only did Waukee score the highest in their division, but they also received the highest score given to any team that competed at the state competition.
The team has finished in the top three every year since 2011, placing first in 2012 and 2015. Their success required lots of hard work. They began preparing six months ago with three practices a week on top of regular football cheer practices, weekly tumbling practices and football games.
“They’re always encouraging each other and pushing one another to be their best. I’m proud of their hard work in practices. It really shows when you see the difficulty in their routine,” said coach, Ashley Jackson.
With only two minutes and 30 seconds to wow the judges, Waukee showed off their dazzling new uniforms and came out with confidence and motivation. The routine demanded attention and outdid the competition by a whopping 20 points. The highest score possible is a 200, and Waukee came out with a dominating 181.
Next stop- nationals. The National Cheerleaders Association High School Cheerleading Championship will be held in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center January 21-22. Last year Waukee lost first place by a tenth of a point. It was a hard loss, but the team is more motivated now than ever before to bring home a national title.
“We will continue to train our tumbling and stunting skills and practice 3-4 times per week to add more difficulty to our routine so that we are better prepared to compete at the national level,” Jackson said.
“It can only get better from here and I am motivated to get on the same level as my friends and teammates,” said senior, Yaovi Aledi.
The team’s tenacity to win and performance level will undoubtedly make them a force to be reckoned with as the national competition nears.