The Varsity Competition Cheerleading Team from Marquette High School in Clarkson Valley captured the State Title in Class 5A Large at the Hearnes Center in Columbia on Sept. 15.
The 23 member team performed a flawless routine and will bring a championship banner to the school for the second time in five years. Marquette’s cheerleaders have dominated regionally, winning five straight regional competitions.
Marquette Head Coach Abbey Gradle and Assistant Coach Morgan Kapp, a Marquette grad, put the team through the paces all summer in preparation for this one shot on the mat in Columbia.
Gradle said, "I am so proud of the difficulty of stunts, tumbling, pyramids, and overall routine that our team showcased. Moreover, the girls really stepped up their energy and showmanship. This truly made the difference in leaving a lasting memory in the judges’ mind. I am so honored our team can represent our school as state champions!"
Senior Captains Mackenzie Anderson and Natalie Komnick helped the team stay on track during long hours of practice, and particularly with overcoming injuries and emotional setbacks. “Our team was incredibly determined to win that state title,” explained Komnick. “These girls are so talented and supportive. We will never forget the feeling of ‘we did it!’ when we finished the routine,” she said.
“I love how our team motivated each other, both on and off the mat,” said Anderson. “We came together and did the best we could do and I could not be more proud. All of our hard work finally paid off!” she added.
Marquette’s victory is the 5th State Title for the school. Team members are: Courtney Anderson, Mackenzie Anderson, Alyssa Ballman, Kelsey Brown, Angie Djikanovic, Jacey Gellasch, Lindsey Gollwitzer, Jules Holtzman, Natalie Komnick, Kayla Lee, Julia Meyer, Olivia Michaels, Mackenzie Puricelli, Andrea Randall, Julia Saak, Sam Seidel, Shannon Stoffel, Jermisha Tate, Kaitlyn Tharenos, Paige White, Rachel White, Megan Widenor, and Maddie Womack. Coached by: Abbey Gradle and Morgan Kapp.