Editor’s Note: We mistakenly omitted coaches Jody Bauman and Emily Willis from this article. We apologize for the error.
For the first time in four years, the Van-Far cheerleading squad left Moberly last Thursday as the Class 1 Large Regional Champions.
While beating Harrisburg to win the title was special, the journey the squad went on this past week made the victory even more sweet.
After one cheerleader became ill just before the week started, it forced the 11 remaining cheerleaders to completely redo their entire routine.
The move also meant the squad had to get approval to compete in the Large category with just 11 competitors as 12 are required for that classification.
“This last week has been very difficult and trying for all the girls,” said Van-Far coach Angela Carlyle. “It’s been very stressful for them to have to redo everything but they worked hard and did not let it get them down and they went out there and did amazing. We were really pleased.”
Carlyle said after practicing the new routine in the early part of the week, they finally started hitting the new stunts and everything else the night before.
“We just told them to take this feeling right now, this excitement for hitting the routine and you carry that with you through Thursday,” Carlyle noted.
During the winning routine, the squad had a slight bobble in the pyramid but the girls held on and finished it off.
“We couldn’t be any prouder of them,” Carlyle said as she expressed her joy also on behalf of coaches Lisa Otis, Marissa Cox, and Hannah Bauman. “They worked so hard and now we can start revamping things to have our 12 back for state and we’re super excited to get going for that now.”
Van-Far had placed fourth the past two years and last won the title in 2013.
The squad that competed included Maddie Dunn, Ashley Stanich, Makayla Vigil, Avery Rost, Bethany Regot, Emily Humphrey, Claire Motley, Maddy Swafford, Olivia Bybee, Lauren Shaw, and Alissa Hays.
Three of the cheerleaders never competed in a competition before last Thursday.
The squad will compete for a state title October 28-29. The Lady Indians will perform during the first session on Saturday, October 28.
Meanwhile, the Van-Far Junior High cheerleading squad participated for the first time ever in the regional competition.
“They did wonderful,” said second year coach Kristie Mulherin. “They did everything that we told them or showed them and they took all of that information that we gave them, worked on it, and did it. They were a sponge for two months, they took it in, and showed it all that day.”
The Lady Indians Junior High squad included Abigail Carlyle, August Foster, Lilly Boushard, Sophie Rost, and Amber Gollaher.