?NWHS Cheerleaders are State Champs!! PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 12 November 2008 00:00
    On Saturday, November 8, the New Washington High School Cheerleaders set out to accomplish something that has never been accomplished in New Washington school history, winning a State Championship title.
    The squad competed in the Indiana Cheerleading Championships sponsored by the IASP (Indiana Association of School Principals). It’s equivalent to the basketball programs sectional, regional, etc.  
    It’s the only opportunity for a high school cheer squad to win a Regional or State Title.
    The cheerleaders competed at the Regional level on November 1 and became a Regional finalist to advance to the State level. The team coached by, Emily Oliver-Jones, had competed at the Regional level for the past four years. The first two years the squads fell short of moving on to State, last year the team advanced to State and was named 1st Runner-up, and this year the team advanced again and brought home the State Championship Title!
    The members on the squad are: Seniors- Sam Callis, Kasey Curry, Tessa Stoner and Sami Vest; Juniors- Chantel Hammond, Madison Tuell and Stephanie Quartermouse; Sophomores- Kasey Gill, Cheyenne Hester, Erica Reis and Rebecca Wolfley and Freshman Brittany Kemper.
    The day was a very nerve racking day. You see, in cheerleading you only have 2 minutes and 30 seconds to give it everything you got. If there should be an error there is a short amount of time to make up for it. It’s not like basketball where you can shoot another basket to even or break the score.  
    “As the cheerleaders took the floor my heart was racing,” Coach Oliver-Jones said. “I knew that the outcome of everything we had worked so hard for was getting ready to be determined in the next 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The girls took the floor and I could have not been more proud, they nailed it! We did have one stunting error which worried me. Our competition was so tight that one error could be the determining factor of our squad not being a State Championship team.”
    It was time for the awards to be presented and the New Washington Cheerleading squad sat in a tight circle on the gym floor with their hands held and heads down. There was a sea of bright yellow shirts worn by the supportive New Washington fan base in the bleachers anticipating the results as well.
    They announced the 5th place, then 4th, and so on and then they announced the 1st Runner-up team; the 1st runner-up trophy went to the reigning four year State Champions.
    The only team that had not been called was New Washington, meaning the girls had done it! They won the school’s first ever Indiana State Cheerleading Championship and the first State Athletic Title for New Washington High School.
    “That was one of the best feelings in the whole world!! These girls have worked so hard for the past four years and we finally met our goal. We were lying on the gym floor screaming and crying it was such an emotional and exciting time,” Oliver-Jones added.
    She continued, “I will never forget the look on the face of one of my senior cheerleaders when they called our name as State Champs on Saturday. She was with our squad when we fell short the first two years at Regional’s, and last year when we were named 1st Runner-up, and now this year State Champs! Her face, filled with tears, showed a look of accomplishment. She knew that everything that I had pushed them to be had finally paid off. Those are the moments that make it worth being a coach!”
    “I am so blessed to have such talented young ladies in my program. In the past six years I have coached we have worked hard to build our cheerleading program. If it was not for past cheerleaders, current cheerleaders, supportive parents, fans, Mr. Ledbetter and Mr. Yancey, and our community we would have never been where we are today. I can’t take all the credit. I learned long ago that when you do for others then good things happen to you. This State Championship is not about me it’s about these girls who have worked so hard!,” Oliver-Jones said.
    She added, “Cheerleaders are underestimated and I speak for all cheerleaders, not just my girls when I say this. Cheerleading is not what it used be when our grandparents were ‘yell-leaders.’ Cheerleading is a competitive athletic sport! If anyone wants to argue that matter come to a cheerleading competition or a cheer practice and you will see that these young women are doing everything any other athlete is doing to train for their sport.”
    Another achievement the Mustangs brought home was Coach Emily Oliver-Jones was named 2008 Indiana High School Coach of the Year. Indiana cheerleading coaches can be nominated by their principal, Athletic Director, fellow cheer coaches, cheer parents, cheerleaders, etc.
    Oliver-Jones received five letters of recommendation. A panel of principals, cheer coaches, and IASP officials select the top three finalists to be recognized at the State Championships. They also select one of the three finalists to be named Cheer Coach of the Year.
    “I was so honored to be named as a finalist! I was not expecting the award at all. The other two coaches were from much bigger schools. One coach had been a coach for 10 years and the other coach for 20 years. I really felt like my hard worked paid off when they called my name. I received a plaque and a couple bags of goodies. The one thing that excites me the most is that I am the official coach of the 2009 Indiana All-State Cheer team. That is one of the honors that comes with being named the coach of the year. The All-State cheer team is a group of 10-12 talented cheerleaders from all over the state of Indiana. To be accepted on the team cheerleaders submit a video of them performing individual routines and a panel of judges select the top girls. The cheerleaders perform at the State Championship Competition. It’s really neat to see a team come together with different uniforms (they wear their school uniform)  performing unbelievable cheerleading skills. The crowd goes wild whenever they perform. I have already started working on the All-State routine for next year,” Coach Oliver-Jones stated with a laugh, “I guess you could say I liked to be prepared.”
    So, what’s next for the New Washington Cheerleading State Champ Squad? Basketball season. The girls will start working this week to prepare for basketball games and they will be kicking off the season this weekend with their annual Snake Dance.
    Coach Oliver-Jones said, “It’s already a goal of ours to have a back-to-back State title so the cheerleaders will start this week preparing for next year. The success of these young ladies is unbelievable they couldn’t have made me more proud! We did it all… for State 08!”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2008 11:17