The Shawano Cheer Team once again made an appearance at state, something that the program has come to expect in recent years. This year they managed to place third in their division. Cheer coach Mary Kast said this year had a different feel because they were in a small co-ed division, as opposed to large in past years
“That changes requirements of things we need to do and it kind of ups the ante. This year having less guys on the team, we had to focus a lot on technique and proper lifting because we didn’t have nine guys to pull the weight for us” said Kast.
While Shawano Cheer has had no problem scoring high enough to qualify for state over the past decade, coach Kast says this year’s finish is particularly rewarding.
“We have only placed in state three years” Kast said. Last year we took third and then this is the third time out of those years that we have placed, and this was our deepest competition to advance to state and our deepest competition once we got to state.”
Senior Issabella Stueck echoed those thoughts, saying that this year’s finish means more to the team.
“This year there was actually six teams we were against at state and we got third. Last year, the only other team we placed, we were against two other teams and still got third, so it’s a little bit more rewarding” said Stueck.
Although people may not associate cheer with other traditional sports, that’s not to say it lacks intensity of its own.
“In cheerleading, you have a two-and-a-half-minute routine. If you make a mistake, it’s a mistake” explained Kast. “Let’s say you touchdown in tumbling. You not only lose execution points, you lose points because they consider it not complete, you get a penalty, and you don’t get to re-do it.”
The state competition was held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madision at the end of February.