PLAS Cheerleaders qualify for nationals

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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Nearly a week after winning the AISA State Championship, the Pike Liberal Arts cheerleading team qualified for nationals at the UCA Cheer Regional Qualifier on Saturday at the BJCC in Birmingham.

The success in Birmingham secured spots in a national cheer competition in Orlando in February.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” head coach Katie Scott said. “Varsity has been working for a bid for nationals with a choreographer and have been practicing for a long time. JV took our AISA routine and added a little to it. Very happy and surprised.”

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The Junior varsity squad took their AISA winning routine to the regionals, while the varsity performed two different routines, one of which was a traditional National routine.

After not performing their state championship routine in front of fans, the Patriots cheered in front of a lot of Patriot fans on Saturday.

“A little more nerve racking because you have one shot and one shot only,” Scott said. “When you video tape, if things don’t go the way you want it to go you just delete that one and try again. Our kids do better in front of an audience every time. They like the audience and like to perform. It was very difficult for us with AISA being strictly virtual this time. They rose to the occasion this time.” 

Both squads knocked off nationally ranked teams on Saturday. The JV Patriots knocked off the third and fifth ranked squads in the nation.

“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Scott said. “We had no idea what to expect. It’s been 15 years since Pike Lib has competed outside of AISA. We were uncertain of what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised.”

Both squads had goals heading into the regional competition. By the end of Saturday, both squads achieved those goals.

“The varsity went to try and get a nationals bid, which they did,” Scott said. “JV’s goal was to perform in front of live judges and do the best they could do. Clearly they did fantastic.”

The varsity squad has already started to prepare for Orlando, while the JV squad is still deciding on their next step.

“We have to get back after the holidays and see where we want to go from here,” Scott said. “Varsity met their goal and they already had a choreographer come in and start working towards nationals. JV is a little behind on that at this point. We have to really see if this is what we want to do. If we want to continue on or if we just want to go and support our varsity.”

The Patriots are coached by Katie Scott, Hanna Hixon Jordan and Brittany Royal. Members of the varsity squad are Addi Garrott, Reagan Brown, Abbi Kay Terry, Dee Allen, Claire Lindsey, Ella Gunter, Emma Carr, Tate Gardner, Sarah Braydon Garrott and Caroline Senn.

Members of the junior varsity squad are Emma Sanders, Elly Stevens, Kate Nelson, Ava Leverette, Caroline Lindsey, Nikki Hopper, Sydney Scott, Allyn Wilson, Kenzie Beth Ray, Caroline Renfroe, Kinsley Simmons and Lexie Terry.

The national competition is scheduled for February 5-7.