Cheerleaders hit the competition floor last week, vying for a spot in the finals of the state UIL cheer competition. In an event that has been growing for the past three years since it started, the squad found themselves missing the list for finals, but knew they had tried their best.
“The girls worked so hard, starting back in October with our five-hour choreography session and then overcoming two obstacles within days apart right before competing,” Lack said. “Everything was put out on that mat Thursday, and I couldn’t be any more proud of them than I am right now.”
The squad competed against 76 teams in the 3A division and placed 31st.
“I did expect us to place higher than we did this year, but we did our absolute best,” junior Andrea Daniel said. “I think we met our expectations on how well we all performed because I know we left everything we had on that stage.”
Before they could think about finals, the cheerleaders had to perform in prelims. They presented their crowd-leading cheer, band chant, and fight song.
“When I stepped onto the mat, I felt all the adrenaline and excitement rush through my body,” senior cheer captain Sheri Donaldson said. “I was ready to perform and give it my all.”
The cheerleaders had to face obstacles in the days leading up to the contest. Two cheerleaders were unable to compete at the last minute. However, the 13-person squad continued to adjust.
“I was really sad when I found out I couldn’t compete anymore,” freshman Glori Cozart said. “I really wanted to be there to at least support the cheerleaders.”
Ever since football season ended, Lack has been holding official practices for her state team at least two nights a week.
“I really enjoy competing in state, especially because all the hard work and long practices really pay off when we get on that stage,” sophomore Sydney Lebel said. “We get to show the judges what Buffalo cheerleaders are made of.”
The cheerleaders scored an average of 83.4 out of 90 for crowd-leading. However, scores on their band chant and fight song were less than ideal.
“The hardest thing about the competition was the judges not liking the choreography but liking our performance,” senior Tana Cleveland said. “I didn’t understand.”
First-year competitors were excited for the chance to compete in the state contest.
“I loved state so much,” freshman Addison Lathrop said. “I made so many memories with the people I love, and hopefully my schedule allows me to compete again next year.”