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State Cheer

Derek Feltner

Feb 20, 2024

Turks Cheer takes on State! This past Saturday the Sultan Turks Cheer competition team won the annual state competition for the 2nd year in a row. The team led by Coach Katherine Van Pelt portrayed their dominance in cheer. Cheer has 2 separate teams; however, some members participate in both, they offer a competition cheer team as well as a traditional school cheer. I interviewed one of the Captains Jonathan Van Pelt to get some insight on what it’s like on the cheer team. What division does cheer compete in, how does it differ from other divisions? - “Our team competes in small game-day, which is up to 12 people, although we usually compete with 6-9. At regional competitions all the classifications are combined, so we compete in 1A-4A, however we never know how they're going to divide the classifications until a week before the State Championships. The WIAA Divisions are traditional/non tumbling which is like a “Bring it on” style routine. Stomp, which has a lot of stomping, and Game-Day which has elements you'd find at a game-day setting combined together to make a three-minute routine.” I found this to be very interesting seeing the different ways that you can be scored I wasn't aware of the differences before this. Next, I asked Jonathan, What's Does it take to win State back-to-back? “IT TAKES A LOT! Our team of 9 only had 3 competition returns! It took a lot of hard work. We had late night and early morning practices. We would come in early to clear out the whole commons for every competition practice and then stay late to put it all back for school the next day. It took our coaches pushing us out of our comfort zone. The captains set really high standards and expectations, and the competition team bought into the program. Everyone worked hard not only for themselves but their teammates next to them.” The amount of dedication they cheer takes goes unnoticed sometimes, but they attribute so much to our school and work hard to achieve the goals they want as well. What's the difference between the sideline team and competition? “The cheer program consists of Fall and Winter teams. Our competition team is not formed until November, when our winter only athletes fully join the program. Everyone on the winter team is required to cheer at games. However not everyone is on the competition team. Being on the competition team requires an extra level of time and physical commitment. Some weeks we have three home basketball games, where we are fitting competition practices before and after those games. To be ready for our competition that weekend. The biggest difference between the two is sideline cheer is there to support the fall and winter sports. Whereas the competition teams' focus is competing and being the best, they can be. Which in our case led to becoming Photo Creds: Katherine Van Pelt BACK-TO-BACK STATE CHAMPIONS!!” This information was also new to me. I didn’t know the difference, so I had to ask. Jonathan, although he doesn’t attend our school, brings great energy when he attends events and is one of the football team captains this year. Go Turks! Photo Creds: Katherine Van Pelt 

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