The PLAS Varsity Cheerleaders are working four days a week preparing for upcoming cheer camp and the AISA competitions. Picture, front from left, Jessica Knotts, Carter Senn, Anna Adams, Toni Sarris, Sarah Sanford, Ragan Knotts and Leigh Ann Gilbert. Back row, Natalie Lankford, coach, Madison Gilmore, Caily Barron, Taylor Saunders, Patsy Ann Davis, Elaina Strother and Kelli Grant. Not pictured, Mackenzi Johnson who was attending Girls State.
The PLAS Varsity Cheerleaders are working four days a week preparing for upcoming cheer camp and the AISA competitions. Picture, front from left, Jessica Knotts, Carter Senn, Anna Adams, Toni Sarris, Sarah Sanford, Ragan Knotts and Leigh Ann Gilbert. Back row, Natalie Lankford, coach, Madison Gilmore, Caily Barron, Taylor Saunders, Patsy Ann Davis, Elaina Strother and Kelli Grant. Not pictured, Mackenzi Johnson who was attending Girls State.

Archived Story

PLAS varsity cheerleaders prepare for competitions

Published 11:00pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Pike Liberal Arts varsity cheerleaders have an enviable task ahead of them.

They will be following on the heels of the school’s 2012 AISA 3A State Championship cheer squad but they are not backing away from the challenge.

The PLAS varsity cheerleaders were practicing at the Xtreme Athletics facility Monday. They were working hard and already had their hands on their hips before 9 a.m.

Natalie Lankford, varsity coach, said the 14-girl squad is one of PLAS’ largest and also one of the most dedicated and hardworking.

The squad is preparing for summer camp at Huntingdon College, July 7-15, and the state AISA competitions in August.

“This is the first year that we will compete as a large squad but they are up to the challenge and are looking forward to the opportunity to repeat as state champions,” Lankford said. “We have four seniors on the squad and three of them were on the state championship team. So we have experienced leadership and that’s always good to have.”

Lankford said the strength of this year’s squad is stunts.

Captain Taylor Saunders agreed and said that tumbling will also be a squad strength.

“Stunts are the lifts that we do and tumbling is flipping,” Saunders said. “We have seven new girls and they are hanging in there and doing a great job. We’re all working hard and should be ready for camp and then for state.”

Saunders said at state the squad will do an extreme routine, a cheer and a dance, which they are really enjoy doing.

The dance is Home Pom and was choreographed by Katie Scott. The seniors will also have an opportunity to compete for AISA All Stars.

Ragan Knotts, who is also a squad captain, said the key to success for any competitive cheerleading squad is togetherness.

“We all work well together and it shows when we are on the floor,” Knotts said. “We are looking forward to camp and state, but we are also looking forward to football season. At camp and at state, we are competing but at the games, we’ll just have fun cheering for our team, the Pike Patriots.”

 

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