On Saturday, Dec. 8, Leesville cheerleaders brought pride to their school when they took first place in the NCHSAA State Championship tournament.
The squad faced many challenges leading up to the competition. A week before the competition, Caitlyn Greene, junior and member of the cheerleading team, hurt her ankle while tumbling during practice. In order to keep to their routine, Coach Reathaford brought up Madison Groom, freshman.
Abby Noga, sophomore, said, “It was stressful because we had to change some of stunts around and Madison had to learn the whole routine in a week. But, it ended up alright because she had the skills and caught on quickly.”
This competition is also quite early in the season for the cheerleaders. After not competing last year, Coach Reathaford said, “Last year, we had a lot of freshman and injuries, so to an extent, we took a year off.”
“We really just wanted to go into the competition, do a perfect routine, and win our division,” said Abby Hilyer, senior.
Despite their obstacles, the cheerleading team excelled in their small varsity division, winning first place. “It was good for our team to get out and compete,” said Noga.
The Leesville cheerleading team’s sense of camaraderie contributed immensely to their success.
Hilyer said, “One of our biggest strengths would be how close we really are. If someone gets frustrated, we can calm them down. We all work very well together.”