2023 State Spirit Competition Places Panthers Cheer Squad 4th in 3A Game Day


Photo Courtesy of Seth Romsa

The Panther Cheer team performs their state routine at a home basketball game after State Cheer was cancelled. The team ended up taking fourth at state.

Who Fight, We Fight, Orange and Black, Fight Fight Fight FIGHT

After the WSHAA postponed the State Cheer competition earlier in the year, squads all around 307 gathered on March 8 to compete at the 2023 State Spirit Competition. The Powell Cheer Team traveled to Casper WY to compete in the 3A Game Day category.

Game Day is a division that was recently added to competitions across the nation. Game Day demonstrates the skills of leading a crowd and showing the team’s energy and connection to the crowd. The Powell Cheer squad brought home a fourth-place win in the Game Day division, an improvement from the previous year of ninth place.

“I was so proud of these kids and how much they improved,” Coach Vicki Walsh said. “It really shows how hard they worked and all the time they put in.” 

In Game Day, the team is judged on dancing, sideline cheers and basic stunts. The PHS team received no deductions within any part of their routine.

“I think our team performed really well,” sophomore JJ Gardner said. “I think they worked really hard and deserved our spot in the placings. I’m really proud of the team and how we did overall.”

Cheerleading takes a lot of dedication and strength as a team. Routines and stunts are observed to be a very complex aspect of sport, making the competitions very competitive.

Our team adapted very well. We all learned to roll with the punches and it just really brought us closer.

— Alexa Nardini

“I think the amount of work we did to hit everything helped us,” Gardner said. “And the fact that we build trust with each other cause with that trust we can hit our stunts easier or you can focus on doing everything 110% since you trust everyone else is doing the same.”

Throughout the season, the cheer team encountered numerous obstacles on their way to state. With injuries and State being canceled on the first go around, the team had to adjust weeks before state.

“Our team adapted very well,” senior Alexa Nardini said. “We all learned to roll with the punches and it just really brought us closer.”

The team will be losing two experienced cheerleaders next season, but despite those challenges, the coaches have big hopes for the upcoming squad.