Cheney takes second at State cheer competition

The Cheney High School cheer squad placed second in Class 3A in the Game Day Cheer statewide competition.

By Travis Mounts

CHENEY – The competition felt quite different, but the results were the same – the Cheney Cardinals high school cheer team earned a top-three finish at the Class 3A Game Day Cheer statewide competition.
The 2020-21 team placed second in 3A. It’s the fourth time in the four-year history of the competition that the Cardinals have been in the top three. They won the 3A title the first two years, and placed third last year.
Coach Ashley Oliver said this year’s competition was quite different, starting with the fact that it was held online. In previous years, teams competed at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka. They would do three different one-minute routines: a band chant; a situational cue, such as an offensive or defensive cheer; and the school fight song. The top six teams in each class would advance to finals, and in the finals each squad would perform a three-minute routine.
This year, each team submitted just a three-minute routine on video. They were allowed only one take, maintaining some resemblance to live competition. That single take was then uploaded to the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
“That’s it. You’ve got to let it go,” Oliver said.
There are 14 members on the team, although only 12 took part in the routine due to quarantine restrictions.
The challenge, Oliver said, was the number of new members on this year’s team.
“We have eight new girls out of 14, so we really weren’t sure what to expect,” she said. The goal was to make the top six, which would count as going to finals.
“There were a lot of new girls who had to be taught the ropes, learn about cheer competition. These girls really stepped up,” Oliver said. She thanks the district and the parents for all their support, which she said was very important during practices and on the day they recorded the competition.
This year’s cheer members are juniors Tehsara Baber, Taelyr Becker, Mollie Brozek, Carsyn Frieden, Nicole Krueger, Maddie Olmstead, Ashlyn Riggs and Morgan Twietmeyer; sophomores Kaitlyn Fowler and Rayna Wright; and freshmen Maddie Abernathy, Grace Beavers, Peyton McCormick and Ada Meyer.