Van-Far cheerleaders win Class 1 Large regional title
Van-Far cheerleaders. Front row, from left: Madison Orr, Madison Baumbach, Haven Atkinson, Mackenzie Baumbach, and Chevi Windland. Back row: Sarah Motley, Courtney Jennings, Katelyn Allen, Brooke James, Marissa Cox, Hannah Bauman, and Abbey Robinson. Coaches are Angela Carlyle and Lisa Otis.
Van-Far’s cheerleading squad entered last week’s regionals held at MACC in Moberly with some nervousness due to inexperience and limited practice time.
In spite of the challenge, the Lady Indians used their work ethic and drive for success to help them win the Class 1 Large regional championship. Van-Far knocked off a Fayette squad that finished in a tie for third at state last year.
“All in all they pulled together a really good routine,” said coach Angela Carlyle.
Carlyle said her team only had about two and half to three weeks of having all cheerleaders present to work on their routine due to commitments relating to camps and fairs.
She said half the squad had never competed in a competition before.
“Over half of the squad has never competed before so I think a lot of the nerves were there from the new girls and they were able to get out there and see what it was all about,” Carlyle added. “They were able to do a phenomenal job for being inexperienced.”
Carlyle said the cheer section was “really together and strong.” She noted that their jumps looked “amazing.”
She said the squad had a very difficult pyramid/stunt section where the girls rely on each other to build up.
“They had a little bit of a bobble in the pyramid section but the girls recovered so quickly and kept the stunts moving,” Carlyle said. “I think them making it work really worked in their favor.”
Every cheerleader who performed on the mat also did a tumble, which Carlyle said is the first time she’s had a squad do that.
“It showed we had a complete team of athletes,” she added.
Carlyle also said the dance section was “strong and great.”
Van-Far competed in Class 1 Small last year.
“I’m glad that we bumped up,” Carlyle added. “There were eight teams that competed in Class 1 Small in regionals.”
Van-Far will now compete for a state title against four other teams during the Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association State Championships held on Saturday, September 14 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia.
Thankfully, the Lady Indians won’t have to change their routine this year with just six practice weeks before state.
“This year I’m excited to work on more difficult stuff to push the girls and expand the tumbling and continue to clean things up,” Carlyle added. “We don’t have to change the music. I’m real happy with the routine as it is. I’d be happy if we were going to state next week. I’m confident the girls will do a good job.”
At state, it is expected Van-Far will face tough competition from schools like Spokane, Fayette, Cooter, Princeton, and Battle.
“This is probably the most dedicated group that I’ve ever had,” Carlyle said. “It’s just been a dream summer working with these girls for the little time we’ve had. I couldn’t be happier.”