Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) varsity cheer team (listed alphabetically): Ariel Bailey, Halie Balman, Jayla Balman (captain), Ashley Bradley (manager), Claudia Bradley, Peyton Burger, Lauren Fultz, Megan Gaby (captain), Schyler Geck, Clara Goodman (captain), Alisa Grossman, Morgan Hildebrand, Gavi LeBauer, Lily Lytle, Rachel Moote, Caleigh Newberry, Paige Parrottino (captain), Hayley Pearson, Taylor Porter, Emma Roth, Rachel Rothman, Britta Shafer, Caroline Skibness, Danelle Turnock, Darcy Vogt and Blair Whitworth. Coaches: Amanda Mundaca and Summer James. Not Pictured: Taylor Farnsworth, Rachel Greenlaw, Jazmine Murphy and Alex Shields.
By Andrew Bohren, RCHS intern writer; photo courtesy of Todd Lytle
Just over a week removed from their dominating performance at leagues, the Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) varsity cheer team accomplished the ultimate feat; a state championship.
Weeks of hard work and preparation were put into one routine, which ultimately earned them the right to hoist the first place trophy and take back another state championship for RCHS. The morning of December 6, the girls met at the school at 9 a.m. to depart for the Denver Coliseum for their preliminary round which would determine if and when they would be able to compete in the finals during the evening. After only a few minutes of warming up, the girls took the floor and not only impressed the judges enough to put them into the finals, but impressed them enough to give them the highest score of the preliminary round.
The pressure soon began to mount as the girls realized what they had the opportunity to do. Hayley Pearson said, “After prelims we felt the pressure because we knew that what we had been working so hard for all year was right in front of us.”
Because the announcements for the finals were at 2 p.m., the team had hours to spare before the finals were actually scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. To pass the time, the girls booked a suite at the Hyatt to relax and hang out before departing for their most important routine of the season.
And they nailed it. Rachel Rothman said, “I think that was the best we ever performed it, especially the second time during the finals.”
They knew going in that their biggest competition was going to be Eaglecrest and Grandview because of the size of their squad and the difficulty that they are able to pull off. Once awards were announced later in the evening it was confirmed that the Jags had outlasted both, and the celebration began.
Of course the Jags are going to dwell on this night for quite some time, and it will for sure be a moment that the girls, their coaches, and their parents will never forget. The cheer team isn’t done yet, however. They still have many more to impress, and that goes beyond state lines.
In February, the team will travel to Orlando, Florida to compete in the national high school cheerleading competition. It will be a great way and a rewarding way to cap off a tremendous season not only for the team itself, but for the six seniors on the team as well.