Competition cheer team concludes fall with amazing post season run

Cheerleaders placed 6th in the state, but continue to work hard as members of the Winter cheer squad.


Partaking in their state competition tradition, the cheerleaders dress in black during their photo shoot in Eagle Stadium. Photo courtesy of Coach Waddle.

Susy Holbrook, Staff Reporter

The Liberty competition cheer team capped their season with another inspiring post season run.

The cheerleaders placed 2nd in Regional competition and 3rd in Districts, before moving on to the state meet at VCU’s Siegal Center where they finished 6th overall.

Head cheer coach Katie Waddle is extremely proud of her student-athletes after watching them work all year and seeing the payoff. She and many athletes expressed how emotional the postseason run was. 

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Waddle. “It was rewarding to see the hard work this coachable team put in.” 

“There were definitely a lot of emotions, but the main ones would have to be excitement, nervousness, and after we finished I felt a lot of relief,” said sophomore Kaydance Wren. 

It was the programs fourth trip to Richmond as a state finalist, and first since being named Regional champs in 2017.

This is Coach Waddle’s 10th year coaching the cheer team and she loves the relationships she builds with the athletes.

“They are a great group of kids,” said Waddle. 

The cheer team developed their many strengths and used them to advance. Their movements were sharp, their jumps were clean and their pyramid work was amazing.

“I would say our strengths are having tight motions and being clean throughout the routine,” said junior Hailey Marquise.

“As a team, we are really good at energy and execution. Our motions are sharp and we are clean,” said sophomore Ashlyn Leatherwood. 

“Cleanliness or our jumps would be our strongest skill because we were the only team in our region doing 7-8 jumps consecutively,” said Wren.

While thriving as a team, certain members also received individual accolades. Bailey Allen, Kira Thomas, Joyce Quintela, Ashlyn Cooper, and Morgan Meredith were named First Team All-Region, and Hailey Marquise, Zoey Smith, Brialea Smith, Kiana Lewis, and Kayden Ulloa were name Second Team All-Region cheerleaders.

Bailey Allen, Kira Thomas, and Joyce Quintela were named First Team All-District cheerleaders, while Ashlyn Cooper, Morgan Meredith, and Hailey Marquise were named Second Team All-District.

Both team and individual success would not be possible without the practice they put in, something they continue to do now as members of the Winter cheer team. 

“We are still practicing stunts and trying to gain more skills before the next season. Everyone is working really hard.” said Leatherwood. “I am continuing to cheer in the winter. Training wise, I am focusing on strength, but I am trying to find a gym for tumbling.”

“We practice every single weekday for about 2 ½ hours,” said Wren. “During this winter season we’re really working on our stunning skills. What that means is that our flyers are really stretching themselves in and out of the gym so we are able to try more elite stunts, which I am really excited about.”

“During the winter we do a lot of stunt work, as well as continuing to strengthen our skill as a team,” said Marquise. 

Overall, the cheer team and it’s coaches are incredibly hard working and dedicated, resulting in another great season. 

The Liberty cheer squad gathers together for an intimate moment before their states routine. Photo courtesy of Coach Waddle.