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As they sat in Diddle Arena in Bowling Green at the state competition Saturday and watched all the groups before them, the coach of the SCHS cheerleading squad said she realized something important.
“The top groups aren’t as far ahead as we had imagined,” Coach Heather Fallen said. “I think the girls were motivated and confident after watching the other teams.”
The girls turned that confidence into a fourth-place finish in the small varsity squad competition at the Kentucky Association of Pep Organization Sponsors (KAPOS) State competition.
“The girls really hit the routine,” Fallen said. “They walked off knowing that it was the best job they could do, and they were confident they’d be in the top five.”
Because the SCHS girls were the last team in their division to compete, they didn’t have to wait long for the results.
“It all happened so fast,” Fallen said. “And we were all separated by just a few points.”
Madisonville North Hopkins took first place, followed by Madison Central, Somerset and Shelby. Fleming County rounded out the top five.
“The first-, second- and third-place teams were all in a national competition last week, so it was good to be right there with them,” Fallen said. “I don’t know if it helped them because I saw their regional competition and they did the same routine. But I think you have a tendency to ratchet up a routine if you’re going to a national competition.”
The SCHS girls had worked on this routine and its components since they came together in summer. And now they can start to think about next year’s program.
“We set this goal way back in the summer, and then in the fall we knew that we had a great chance,” Fallen said. “I think top three or winning in an attainable goal next year.
"We were right there with the top three teams this year. We just need to add a little more difficulty and a little more spirit. We have a lot of girls on the competition squad coming back next year, so we should be in great shape to be back there again.”