Mt. Pleasant cheer team defends state title
DES MOINES — When the Mt. Pleasant cheer team got to Des Moines last weekend for the state cheerleading championships, they were greeted by a photo of themselves — the 2012 state champions — on the cover of this year’s program.
It was a photo of the Panther cheerleaders storming the mat after they were announced state champions.
On Saturday, they got to relive that moment as they won their second straight Class 3A title. The Panther squad has now brought back-to-back state cheerleading trophies home to Mt. Pleasant.
The Mt. Pleasant cheer squad is made up of 19 girls (including four alternates) from all four classes.
Seniors who competed are Leslie Taylor, Courtney Mabeus and MacKena Steenblock. Juniors are Andrea Glick, Jasmine Craff and Hollie Mathews, and sophomores are Sidney Taylor, Kailey Peterson, Karla Figueroa and Jessie Sirivath. Freshmen on the team are Madison Woodard, Sheyanne Walter, Samantha Doak, Kennedy Mitchell and Allison Buckert.
The alternates were juniors Jayde Mumme, Michaela Mathews and Jenny Miller and freshman Jocelyn Steenblock.
The team’s theme for the year was Our Family, Our Season.
There was also a stunt group that competed for the Panthers at the state championships.
In the group was Leslie Taylor, Sidney Taylor, Peterson, Sirivath and Woodard.
They competed in the morning session with a one-minute routine that only involved stunting.
The team finished 16th overall in the large school division, which includes 3A and 4A schools, and was the top finisher among 3A teams.
Leslie Taylor and Sidney Taylor were also recognized at the championships as part of the all-state cheer squad, which performs at the boys’ basketball state championship games on March 14 in Des Moines.
This is Sidney Taylor’s second year on the squad, and Leslie Taylor tried out for the first time this year.
More than 450 girls were at tryouts in Ames on Oct. 19-20, and 36 were selected. The squad was chosen at the tryouts, but officially introduced at the championships last weekend.
The team will practice once a month in Ames and then for one full day before their performance.
They will perform three times at the tournament, including one televised performance.