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What does it mean to be a state champion? For the Cimarron-Memorial (Las Vegas) Spartan cheerleaders, winning state is a dream that has become a reality. Cimarron's cheerleading squad only had three seniors returning from last year's state championship squad. For those three seniors, winning again meant a lot, which raised the pressure on the younger girls to perform well and not let the seniors down.
"Winning state meant the world to me," said sophomore Karina Rivera. "This is something that I was looking forward to for the whole year."
After practicing all year for one common cause, to repeat as state champions, the Spartan cheerleaders work has finally paid off. The cheerleaders not only cheer because they love keeping the school spirit, they also cheer because they have a true love for it. The cheerleaders had many hours of practice, including cheering at football and basketball games.
"I have always loved cheerleading," explains Rivera. "It's been a part of my life for five years now. The reason I love it is because all of us girls get so close and we have the best times together. Also because I love being able to stand up on my box and cheer as loud as I can for our football team."
The squad of girls ranging from freshmen to senior went to the Silver State Cheerleading Competition on February 28th to compete for the Nevada state cheering title. State was the first competition of the year for the Spartan squad because some of the cheerleaders had injuries during the season.
The competition consisted of three categories: Show Cheer, Cheer/Pom, and All Girls Stunts. Cimarron placed first in Show Cheer and second in Cheer/Pom. After an amazing performance, the Spartan cheerleaders brought back plenty of smiles and a new state ring.
"Winning a state title is so extremely exciting your senior year," said captain Kaeleigh Peterman. "The feeling of that state ring on your finger is irreplaceable."
As captain of the squad, Peterman could not have asked for a better way to end her high school cheering career. Now having back-to-back state rings and plenty of memories, it is time for Kaeleigh to graduate and pass on her leadership role.
"I am very proud of next year's squad. I think they have a very promising team and I am anxious to see what they can do. Of course I hope to see them succeed again next year, and I think they have a great chance to do so."
Next year's competition will be just as fierce. With back-to-back state titles, other squads are likely to have their eyes out for Cimarron.
"I think our expectation is for us to win it again," said varsity coach Becky Coyle.
"We have a very strong team with a lot of returners, and as long as we work hard we should win again."
The Cimarron Memorial cheerleading squad has plenty of support from the student body and they hope they can pull off another state title next year.