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Cheerleaders take second at NKCCA competition

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By Ryan Naus

After their performance at the KAPOS state competition, the Grant County High School varsity cheerleaders were anxious to compete again and show how talented they are.

The girls dropped four stunts at the state competition, but at the NKCCA competition on Feb. 22, the girls brought home a second place finish.

“It was a big competition, but they did well,” coach Leigh Simpson said. “The point for varsity was to redeem themselves to prove that they could do what they did at region and they did just that. They walked off the mat so proud.”

Simpson told the cheerleaders that the competition was about being proud of how they performed and not bringing home any hardware. Fortunately, the squad was able to do both of those things, as they placed second to Conner. The cheerleaders placed ahead of Boone, who had finished ahead of them at state.

“I had no idea what my girls were up against, but I felt pretty confident we could hang with both of them,” Simpson said. “I try to teach the girls that if they get beat by a better team, you should shake their hands. I wanted us to end our season feeling good about ourselves. They knew that was the best they could have done.”

The six seniors on the varsity squad were glad they had one more shot to show how hard they’ve worked and how talented they are.

“Coach Simpson told us that it was our last chance to be on the big blue mat and to have fun with it,” Brandy Begley said. “When we performed, we thought we had an amazing performance. I started crying in the middle of the performance and I saw coach’s face and I knew we had it. At the end of the routine, I knew everything had hit. I knew it didn’t matter if we won or lost because it was the feeling of accomplishing what we wanted to do.

“It was everything that I wanted,” Begley said. “To come back and have that be our lasting memory of cheerleading, it’s amazing.”