The Van-Far Lady Indians cheerleading squad finished just two places from winning a top four plaque after taking sixth in this past weekend’s Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Assocation’s 2012 Missouri State Cheerleading Championships at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.
Van-Far entered the 15-team event in the Class 1 Small Division as the No. 6 seed but was unable to get any closer in a realigned competition filled with four state champions from 2011. Van-Far coach Angela Caryle said she was proud of how her squad performed at state. After all, Van-Far’s team features just one senior, three girls who never competed at state before along with the remainder of the girls with just one previous state competition.
“The basket tosses were amazing…the flyers looked gorgeous,” she said. “The cheer section looked phenomenal as they were together and the jumps were clean…Our tumblers did really well. The dance section was great and showed lots of energy. All in all, they did a great job.”
Carlyle said she was proud of Haven Atkinson, who nailed a tumble just five days from learning the move.
“She had a round, back hand spring, back hand spring, that she learned Monday of last week and she hit it beautifully out there on Saturday,” Carlyle added. “I was so impressed.”
While Van-Far had success, their routine wasn’t perfect. They had a fall in a stunt and two cheerleaders hit the floor for a 10-point deduction.
Marceline won the state title, Putnam County took second, Northeast-Cairo placed third, and Thayer finished fourth.
“I’m thinking (the personal bobbles) had to do with being on that floor and realizing how big the Hearnes Center is,” Carlyle said. “I think all the pressure got to some people.”
After the contest, the cheerleaders watched several other squads perform and made plans for next year’s championships. “They’re already planning what they want to do for next year so I think this even pumped them up for next year,” Carlyle added.