Districts Cheer on Squads at State
By Michael Brooks, Sports Writer Cheerleaders from all three Jackson County Schools competed at the state cheer competition last week. Industrial left with the best results of the three schools, placing sixth.
Cheer squads compete in band chant, fight song, and crowd leading events where they are judged and scored. The 20 schools with the top cumulative scores then move on to the finals.
In 2A, Ganado went to the finals, where they placed 13th.
The Cobras, who have been here before, once again placed in the top 10, coming in sixth place out of 57 squads.
“This is the sixth year for the UIL Spirit Championships and we have made the finals all six years,” Industrial Cheer Sponsor Beth Turk said. “We placed third in 2017/2018 and placed in the top 10 five out of those six years.”
After giving what they felt was a rough preliminary performance, the Cobra cheerleaders gave their best in the finals.
“We knew the prelims were not our best so the squad gathered and talked about leaving it all on the mat,” Turk explained. “It was very important for them to give the best performance they could for their school, for their parents, and for their team. They went out and rocked the Finals performance. They left the mat both mentally and physically exhausted, but with smiles and happy tears. They knew no matter what place they took they had done their BEST. It is all I ever ask of them.”
Turk does make a point to the cheerleaders that no matter how they place, if they give it their all, they are still winners.
“Our goal is always to medal, but in this sport we also understand every time you take the mat you are judged subjectively, so to really win I talk about if you are empty when you leave the mat you are a winner. They were empty. We moved from ninth going into finals and moved up three places against some very competitive and strong teams.
“I personally am so proud of this group who are lead by three very strong leaders, Avery Baker captain, Emma Heibel co-captain and Juliana Edwards co-captain.”
Maintaining the success from year-to-year comes from putting in extra work all the time.
“Our cheer program is good because of the work the squad puts in when no one is watching. Being a 3A school, my squad members are very involved in numerous other school activities other than cheer. Our practices take place often after everyone else has left the school and gone home.”