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After waiting a month because of the weather, local cheerleading teams are ready to prove their skills to the state.
The first Kentucky High School Athletic Association Competitive Cheer Championship is Saturday at E.A. Diddle Arena at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. Cheerleading squads from Central Hardin High School, LaRue County High School, North Hardin High School and Elizabethtown High School are competing.
LaRueCounty and North Hardin are competing in their divisions at 2 p.m. CST, and Elizabethtown and Central Hardin are scheduled to compete in their divisions at 5 p.m. CST.
This is the first year cheerleading is an athletic activity under KHSAA.
The state competition originally was scheduled for Jan. 26 but it was postponed because of weather. Many of the teams were ready to go last month.
“At first I think that we were a little disappointed,” LaRue County Coach Tara Wooden said. But the delay also gave some injured team members time to heal.
The delay did the same for Central Hardin, but the extra month had its difficulties too, Central Coach Shauna Thompson said.
“We have a long season, so it just made it longer,” Thompson said.
Thompson and her team focused on the performance aspects of the routine, she said. After regionals, a team can become comfortable in their routine, which can read a little boring for the judges, she said.
Seniors, such as Autumn LaFollette and Paige Dennis, are feeling the finality of this state competition.
“I just can’t believe it’s, like, the last time,” LaFollette said.
The Elizabethtown team was runner-up in last year’s state competition. Coach Joella Nall said she thinks her team will be successful once again.
“This team has been very clean and sharp in most of their competitions this year,” Nall said. “I hope to see the same on the floor Saturday. I just want them to feel great about their performance when they leave that mat.”
The LaRue County team has placed fifth the last two years and its goal this year is to finish in the top three, Wooden said.
“I think the girls are confident,” she said. “I think the girls are ready.”
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.