Three points shy of finals, UIL cheer season concludes


Courtney Benson

The 2019 cheer team poses for a picture in the competition hall, and came in 18th in the overall competition. Heading to their second year of the UIL Spirit State Championships, the team barely missed the cut to compete in finals, and is now focusing on basketball and spring cheer.

Yael Even and Remi Williams

The Redhawks cheer program fell three points short of advancing to the finals at the UIL Spirit State Championships Friday and Saturday in Fort Worth.

“We started practicing in November so we were very well prepared,” co-captain, senior Caitlyn Schroeder said. “Our goal for this competition was to do better than we did last year, which we did, so we were super excited about that.” 

The team put their goals to the test as they faced off against schools from throughout Texas.

“Even though we did not qualify for finals our overall scores for each category were better than the last,” cheer coach Kandy Stevens said. “We set a goal and they reached it.”

Putting her teammates first, co-captain senior Rileigh Horcher believes it’s important to cheer each other on and off the mat.

“Caitlyn and I both worked together as captains to perfect and clean out choreography,” Horcher said. “We also helped out some of our alternates who had to step in last minute and perform with us. I encouraged and helped our team to do the best we possibly could and I believe we accomplished that. Cheer is without a doubt a team sport so we all helped each-other to work our hardest and build each other up.”

The UIL competition gave the team a chance to show off their skills, and bond as a team.

“It brought us closer as a team because it challenged us and pushed us to new limits,” Horcher said. “We got to help each other out through last minute changes and perfecting our routines and we celebrated each other when we did amazing things. Being part of this team has been incredible because everyone is always so uplifting, encouraging and hardworking. It brought us closer as teammates and friends.” 

Their competition season may be over, but the cheer team still has a lot to prepare for.

“As of now, we have a spring pep rally to work on,” Schroeder said. “We will continue cheering throughout the basketball season.”