Cheer wins at state for the third straight time

They are calling it a “three-peat”. The cheer team has now won state three years in a row. The cheer team is now preparing for nationals in February.

“It was kinda unbelievable because it’s really hard to win state all three year of high school,” senior Emily Kemp said.

She is one of the people who have been on the team for all third championships. They are now the 2019 State Champs.

“I would say that it was probably the best feeling because those girls have had to work harder than any group I have ever had to achieve that,” said Mrs. Jamie Bunting, coach of the cheer team.

It was more work this year.

“We didn’t have the people coming in, we usually did that have cheer experience,” Kemp said.

Due to the lack of experience learning and perfecting a cheer routine for the first time will be harder than most years.

“Bunting is really good about building a team up and teaching them the right technique, she can turn someone who isn’t the best and turn them into a beast,” Kemp said.

Mrs. Bunting coaches the new members of the team and turns them into champs.

Not only has the team won state but the received first at all four of their competitions in the 6A all girl division. They competed in the Wildcat Invitational, Morrilton B2 Cheer Comp, Spa City Classic, and NWA Classic.

“It was awesome, I don’t think I have ever felt that happy before in my life,” sophomore Katie Stathakis said.

This is her first time winning state.

“Winning state is like the best feeling ever, I can’t explain it,” Kemp said.

“It was pride and excitement for them,” Mrs. Bunting said.

“It was very relieving, all the hard work we had put in had finally paid off,” sophomore Lizbeth Caldera said.

The feel they got was something only the team could feel and understand.

“They came in everyday, they did full outs, they even added a practice this year. Just preparation,” Mrs. Bunting said.

There is no doubt the girls worked hard for their win.

Some awards the received are best jumps at Morrrilation B2 Cheer Comp and Spa City Classsic. They received best stunts at Spa City Classic and NWA Classic. As well has best cheer at NWA Classic.

“Going into state we started setting weekly goals and daily goals,” Mrs. Bunting said. “We really looked at our goals everyday.”

“A lot people were not rooting for us,” Caldera said.

“Our fans were excited for us because they know this was our third time winning. But because since we have so many rivals, it’s very intense. All of our competitors were heated,” Kemp said.

The team knew there was a target on their back but they did not stop their hard work.

“I think everyone was really excited,” Stathakis said.

It was so huge for them because the girls were proud of their work.  

The Arkansas Activities Association changed the cheer competition score sheet. The cheer is now 50 points, where in the past it was only 35. Then they made the difficult level worth 15 fewer points. But at nationals the score sheet will go back it the cheer being worth only 35 points.

“What they did was take away from the difficult, which is what we have always been good at. At nationals we know that our cheer score goes back to 35 points which is what we are use to doing but it just means our difficult stunts will help us a lot more,” Mrs. Bunting said.

By adding in more difficult stunts, their difficult will go up.

“We are adding in harder stunts but we’re definitely practicing and conditioning the same amount,” Kemp said.

They practice in the mornings and have one afternoon practice a week.  

“We’re going back and trying to get confident in our skills,” Mrs. Bunting said.

They want to improve on stunts and tumbling to look good every time.

“It’s back to setting our goals, reviewing what we do well and building on the things we do well so we can be consistent,” Mrs. Bunting said.

They prepared for nationals similar how they did for state.

At nationals the team placed in the top half in the country of 73 teams the competed in their division at nationals this year.