|
|
Examiner
  • Grain Valley cheerleaders state champs - twice over

  • Grain Valley has had one of the best all-girl cheerleading teams in Missouri for much of the last decade.



    Now, they can add a state champion coed cheerleading squad to that impressive resume.

    • email print
  • Grain Valley has had one of the best all-girl cheerleading teams in Missouri for much of the last decade.
    Now, they can add a state champion coed cheerleading squad to that impressive resume.
    “We hoped that we would go to state. We didn’t know how that would play out,” said Savannah Shields, a senior on the Grain Valley Coed Cheerleading Squad. “We hoped we would place, but we never expected what happened.”
    The Grain Valley all-girl varsity cheerleading squad and the coed cheerleading squad each placed first at the 2012 Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association State Competition Oct. 20 and 21 in Columbia, Mo.
    This is the fourth consecutive year that Grain Valley’s all-girl sqaud has won the state championship. What makes the coed squad’s win even more impressive is that this is the first year for the program.
    “I felt like we already had a successful all-girl program, so we wanted to try something new,” said Delanne Carson, coach for both of the cheerleading squads. “We are obviously very happy with the results. Regional did not go the way we wanted (a third place finish for the coed squad and second for the girls). So we made some changes.”
    And changes they made. Both routines were scrapped and new music was chosen. Carlson said she took the comments from the judges very seriously, especially in the case of the coed squad. The squads’ other coaches are Brittani Tiefenbrum, Kayla Auffert and Alyssa Banks.
    “The only option we really had was to go off the feedback,” she said. “When we started, only one of the boys had cheerleading experience and two could tumble. By state, we had six standing back tucks. We brought the routine down to a manageable skill level for us. We did not have the most difficult routine, but what we did, we did very well.”
    Senior Jordan Manz said he tried out for the coed squad because some of his friends’ sisters were cheerleaders. That, he said, turned out to be an “experience of a lifetime.”
    “It was an explosion of emotion,” he said on finding out the team had placed first. “I think it was one of the happiest moments of my life.”
    Junior Kylie Pope, a member of the all-girls squad, said she thought the state championship this year has been “way ore special” than previous years.
    “Our team is so close this year. We are such a family,” she said. “Without a doubt, I think we are the closest team in Missouri. We have gone through so many struggles and overcome so much this year. To place first feels incredible.”
    One of those challenges was an injury to one of the squad’s members only three weeks before the state competition. Junior Lauren Martin tore her ACL and meniscus, forcing a junior varsity team member to be pulled in at the last moment.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It was really hard to be injured so close to state,” she said. “But I am really proud of all the girls. They did such a good job, and I was there cheering them on the whole way.”
    Carlson said what stood out to her during the state competition was the amount of camaraderie between the two squads. With the expectation of competitions, the all-girls and coed squads cheer together as one team. She said she was afraid that if one team did better than the other, there would be some hurt feelings. That, however, was not the case.
    “To see the kids rooting for each other and celebrating each other’s accomplishments was truly the best part of the day,” she said. “This experience was completely overwhelming. A day for the record books. But to watch their support for one another was really what made the day so special.”

      calendar