Kuna Cheerleading Squad brings home big prize
By Mark Barnes
Doing better than last year’s squad was not expected, but this spring, the green team from Kuna exceeded hopes and dreams.
The Kuna Kavemen cheerleading squad won State 4A Cheer Champions at the state 4A Championship Dance and Cheer Competition last Saturday, March 16, 2013. They also won first places in the Coed Show and Sideline categories at the competition hosted at Northwest Nazarene University Johnson Sports Center in Nampa, Idaho.
Competing early Saturday morning, Kuna faced an uphill battle Saturday morning. They had lost one of their acrobatic flyer athletes just days before due to an injury. In just two days, they had to rearrange team members and re-choreograph three of the four routines the team had planned to perform.
Assistant coach Jake Salutregui said that they performed “flawlessly” in the morning’s routines. They competed against 11 other teams in the Pom competition and nine others in sideline, in which they won first place. Just after noon, the team competed in the coed show category, winning first place, and the coed stunt category, fielding the only all-male stunt team in the competition.
Dressed in Kavemen black with leopard print trim and bows holding back bouncy ponytails, the only team with black shoes, bounced, jumped, twirled and smiled their way into the championship.
Unique to this year’s team is their lack of experience with only three returning cheerleaders from last year’s state champion squad. The 2011-2012 team won first place in the Show Cheer and came in second overall. This year, the 2012-2013 squad won two first place categories and the overall cheer championship.
“Honestly, I didn’t think we’d make it to state,” said senior Baili Bender, one of three returning cheerleaders from last year’s squad. “As a team we’re very different from last year. This team is wild and crazy. It’s so young. We get along so well. Everyone on the team is like a sibling to me. Last year’s team was much more serious.”
While this team is young and wild, their success this year bodes well for future years. Of the 17 members listed in the program, only four are seniors. With so many potential return
cheerleaders, next year could
be even better.
Photos and article by Mark Barnes