Tigers bring the Golden Cup from Championships

The cheer team won first place at the NCA MidWest Open Championships on Jan. 13 out of 30 of the best cheer teams around the MidWest at St. Charles, Mo. These photos are from the State competition at Des Moines, where the Tiger’s took second place.

The cheer team took home first place at the NCA Midwest Open Championship on Jan. 13.  The competition was filled with 30 of the top school cheer teams throughout the midwest. 

Sophomore cheerleader Noelani Mattson did not expect to win and was more focused on doing her best with the team, but “It felt really good when we won because all the hard work we put in paid off.” 

Senior Brook Dietz was also pleasantly surprised. “I don’t really think of winning. All I want out of every competition is to just have a feeling we all put everything in the routine. I think of it as competing against ourselves. Knowing that my stunt group hit everything and after we killed the dance at the end, was just the best feeling ever.”

The team had to fight through a series of setbacks and diversities throughout the season to get to the top of its game. “At the beginning of the season, someone on our team quit, which was a small setback, but we worked hard and got through it. Another problem was before our first competition, one girl had a concussion and another girl hurt her foot, but we ended up getting second at that competition,” Mattson said. 

“At the beginning of the season, someone on our team quit, which was a small setback, but we worked hard and got through it. Another problem was before our first competition, one girl had a concussion and another girl hurt her foot, but we ended up getting 2nd at that competition,” Dietz said.

The team had three 6 a.m. practices every week along with two to five full-outs in the mornings, which is when the team members practice their routine all the way through like they are performing it. With conditioning added on top of it, the team really got to see the hard work pay off.

The team bonds also contributed to the success. “The team has gotten along really well this year, and they’ve been like my second family. This year’s team is special because we are all super close this year, which I think is why we’ve done so well this year,” Mattson said.

“I love the adrenaline at competitions. I’m sad that was my last time competing in high school with this team. This year we were super close,” Dietz said.

Cheer has shaped who Mattson and Dietz are and has given them something that they will remember for the rest of their lives. The team’s bond has made this season less about competing, and more about being there for their teammates.

“Cheer had definitely affected my school since I have had cheer so much,” Dietz said, “especially during the fall and winter. I had varsity football cheer practices, competitive team practice, stunt team practice, then all-state practices start, but it made me a better, determined person. I love working hard and knowing I’m getting in a good work out in and working on lifting. Cheer has also made me feel better about myself. I’ve never been a school person, so knowing I’m actually good at something makes me really happy.” 

“Cheer has shaped me into who I am today,” Mattson said, “and cheer has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Cheer takes up most of my time throughout the week, having three-four practices a week along with all-state practices and competitions on the weekend, but being able to bond with my teammates really makes it worth it.”

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