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Waukee Cheer: Season in Review
February 1, 2017
For nine months, 265 days, and countless hours, the Waukee Competitive Cheer Team poured every ounce of dedication and commitment they had into training to be one of the top cheer squads in the nation. WHS Cheer team consists of 28 members who have vigorously trained four times a week on tumbling and stunts. “We worked hard and pushed ourselves every practice, which resulted in a lot of improvement,” stated senior Izzy Wagner. “As a whole, our routine continued to get cleaner and more impressive, and individuals improved a lot in tumbling and flexibility,” she added. Throughout football games, pep rallies, and competitions, the group represented Waukee’s pride and spirit with every move.
The team practiced for four days nearly every week leading up to state and nationals, placing first in state in November, and second in nationals by .03 in Dallas, Texas this past January. “We had a very successful season,” said senior Jensen Ward “This season overall made Waukee cheerleading stand out to people to show what cheer is really about,” she explained.
Ward continued sharing details regarding the preparation for nationals “Getting ready for nationals was intense […] practices were stressful knowing what was on the line.” While placing second was disappointing for some, senior Aziz Tago stated how the team felt
“[I] definitely felt sad and angry, but no regrets. I’m proud of how we did […] a lot of teams have so much potential and talent. I just like seeing people do their best and working hard.” Every late night spent not only improved the team’s abilities, but brought them together. “I realized that my team isn’t just my team, it’s my family,” said Tago.
The previous year, the team placed second by only .13, so tensions were high this time around. Placing second this year on a national scale was an accomplishment for the whole district. “Knowing how much determination and hard work we had been putting into practices for the past six to seven months was worth it and definitely paid off,” Ward said.“[nationals] was really exciting, I wasn’t stressed but I was really nervous,” Tago added.
Coach Ashley Jackson takes pride in not only the competitions they have won but of how close everyone became. Jackson stated, “I try my best to make my athletes and my team feel like a family… My athletes consider their teammates a second family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”