The Best Two and a Half Minutes

Senior Dunbar cheerleader shares her experience at the state championship

All 26 cheerleaders were sitting in a circle with our heads down and squeezing each other’s hands, anxiously waiting to see what place we got. The announcer starts stating the top three teams, starting with the third place winner.

They looked at the sheet and said into the microphone “Paul Laurence Dunbar.”

We released our hands, looking up at each other. We didn’t say much because the team was disappointed but also somewhat expected it.

After we took our picture with the trophy, we went to congratulate the winning team. Being a part of such a great cheer program, we have been taught to be respectful, no matter if we win or lose. We show respect by congratulating the winning team and not being bitter about our loss.

We had prepared through long, frustrating practices and endless exhausting reps. We gave the best two and a half minutes we could, but there were a few minor mistakes and falls. To the average eye, these mistakes weren’t a big deal and our performance was great.

But in the end, every slight flaw adds up. We gave it our all and couldn’t go back. We could only hope for other teams to fall, too.

Watching our two biggest competitors was nerve-racking. We had heard about Dixie Heights having insane difficulty in both their stunts and tumbling and with Greenup County being our rival, the pressure was on.

Dixie Heights gave a flawless performance, but they had one slip up, which gave me hope. Greenup’s routine was clean and sharp, one of the main things judges look for. However, one of the girls slipped up during a stunt, lowering their score.

The scores were close but not in our favor. We ended up getting third place, which was disappointing because we wanted a win. However, it only makes us more motivated for nationals. From now until February we will do everything we can to improve our routine.

In the timespan from regionals to state, we had already grown so much and had potential to grow immensely.

We cannot succeed by worrying about the other teams, we have to stay focused on ourselves and not take our eyes off the goal: winning a National Championship in February.