Cheer Wins the State Championship


Katie Steele, Contributor

The Bob Jones Competition Cheerleading Team competed at their state competition in December. This competition came after many months of hard work and hours put in by the girls on the team, and they received a well-deserved State Championship. This is the school’s first time winning state for cheer since 2016.

Last season had to end sooner than usual because the team had issues with COVID before regionals, making them unable to compete at the regional competition and receive a bid. However, this was somewhat of a blessing in disguise because they were able to get an early start prepping for the next competition. Tryouts were held last March and about 30 girls made it onto the squad. Eight of these girls were returning seniors. This is Coach Ashley Mitchell’s fourth year coaching the team, meaning these seniors are the girls she has coached for the longest now. This season means a lot to many of the members of the team because this is the last time competing with the seniors.

The team began prepping early. The girls attended the UCA cheer camp over the summer, which was of huge benefit. Junior cheerleader Emma Kate Lindsey said that her favorite memory of the team so far was attending and winning all of the awards at camp. She stated, “We did really well at camp and that was when I knew we would have an amazing season.” Camp served as a strong bonding experience for the girls and helped them become a team that could place at state. After coming back from camp, they worked harder than ever. Extra practices were added and more and more conditioning was helping the girls get into the best shape. When school started back up, the girls began practicing twice a day almost every day of the week. They had practice during cheer block at school and practice after school. In cheer block, Coach Brad Jefferson pushed them into running and conditioning every day during cheer block. As their first competition neared, the girls got incredibly focused and began doing their routine with every stunt and every tumbling pass or going “full out.” They would do their routine full out at least 3 or 4 times every practice, which meant almost 8 full outs a day.

The path to state was paved with ups and downs. At the regional competition in October, they placed first and received a bid to Nationals in February 2022 at Disney World. On November 1st, they competed at super regionals and received 2nd place and got a bid to state on December 6th. After getting 2nd at super regionals, the girls were more determined than ever to work their hardest to win state. So, a month later when state came around, they came back with harder skills and stunts. When they competed, they did it with perfection with no mistakes and earned a state championship. The girls got a plaque and will get state rings.

Things are looking up for them as they approach competing at Nationals. This is the most important competition they compete at, and they hope to receive a National Championship and white jackets for all members of the team.