De Soto cheerleading finishes fifth at State


Wildcat Photo

De Soto Cheer team takes photo at State competition on November 23, 2019.

Lynlee Hutchison, News Editor

The De Soto High School cheerleading squad finished in a program history best fifth-place at the Kansas State competition Nov. 23.

Routines performed at the competition consisted of game day chants and other material  the cheerleaders had been practicing on the sidelines at football games since September. Leading up to the competition, the team put themselves in situations to replicate the competition experience to make sure they were at their best.

“We had a few alumni and other guests come to watch our routines. They had a scoring sheet similar to the one the judges at the competition. They were able to score us and give feedback for things to improve or change,” senior captain Alicia Baker said.

Looking ahead, head coach Megan O’Boyle had high expectations to place higher  than the team did in the State competition in 2017, where they earned 14th place. 

“They [the DHS cheerleading team] only have competed in this competition one other time in the past, so the goal was to do much better than they [DHS cheerleading team] did last time,” O’Boyle said. 

As the big day approached, many emotions were expressed by the cheerleaders.

“As a captain, I was very optimistic going into the competition. All of the girls had worked so hard, and I really thought that we had the chance to make it to finals this year,” Baker said.

Sophomore Kennedy Pickert had similar thoughts before the competition.

“I was very excited and had a positive mindset going in [to the competition] because we [the team] had put in a lot of effort throughout our practices,” Pickert said. 

Making it to the finals within the competition and placing fifth the team was proud of their performance. 

  “I am extremely proud of the team. We have worked so hard, and it was amazing to see all of us come together and work towards one goal,” Baker said.

As O’Boyle is proud of the team, she explained that their work ethic is what gets them there.

“Overall they are really driven to perform well, so I think they realize that if they work hard it will pay off in the end,” O’Boyle said.

With new material to be learned, the team has high expectations for the rest of its season leading into basketball. 

“For the rest of the season, I look forward to continuing to grow the teams’ skills and working on new stunts to perform during the basketball season,” Baker said. 

Not only does the team look forward to making their performances stronger, but their relationships among each and every one of the athletes. 

“Coach O’Boyle and coach Jackie [Harwig] always find ways for us to do some [type of] team bonding which definitely brings us together and helps us perform better as a team,” senior Angelina Capelo said.

Similarly, Pickert expects to develop her character throughout this experience.

“I look forward to becoming a stronger individual and growing stronger as a team,” Pickert said.