By Braden Schroeder
Photo submitted by Hunter Hampton
Over the weekend the FC cheer team made history by bringing home a state title, something that hadn’t been done in seven years.
“Instant tears of joy came rolling down my face, and the grasps we had on each other’s hands only got tighter,” said junior Olivia Babbitt. “It was a feeling of relief knowing that all of our hard work and hours we’ve put into the routine has paid off.”
After being an all girls team for the past several years, FC made a big change this year by transitioning to co-ed. By competing in co-ed, the team knew they would have to up their intensity.
“We knew a lot was expected from both Hunter and myself. We would go in on days we didn’t have practice, or we would go in before and stay after practice to work on the motions or stunts that the girls would want to be perfect for competition,” said senior Cameron Gentry.
Head cheer coach Celeste Bell said that earlier preparation for competition was needed for this season to be successful.
“We started competing earlier than years past in order to prepare. This enabled the team to get better conditioned for the routine they had and also gave them a chance to perfect it and be able to make it harder by the time we got to state,” said Bell.
According to sophomore Kyleigh Nalley, it was an honor to be on the team that finally brought home a state title.
“This being the first time winning state in seven years is very honoring. I am honored to be a part of this team and to participate in such a challenging routine,” said Nalley.
Not only did FC have success over the weekend, but the New Albany cheer team placed second, right behind the Highlanders.
“Floyd County cheer leading is the best tradition in the state. It’s always been strong and there has always been support from parents, the schools, and athletes alike which is sometimes hard to find,” said Bell.
Although the wait for a state title is finally over and the team can relax for now, the hard journey towards next season is only getting closer and closer as each day passes by.
“If there was a year to bring home a state title, I knew that this was our year,” said Babbitt. “This team has so much heart and talent. We are so willing to work together to reach our goal. It’s a great feeling to finally bring a state title home.”