Poms team reaches state for 16th consecutive year

Seniors Paige Ekblad and Ana Macha, junior Isabella vonPieschel, and sophomore Elise Arriaga enter the ripple on their assigned counts. The Pomcats qualified for state with a 2nd place finish at sectionals.

Brendan Burns, News Editor

Finishing 2nd in sectionals, the poms team qualified for state for the 16th year in a row. Although they still haven’t broken the barrier of advancing to the second day, they feel proud of their accomplishments, especially placing higher than Plainfield North at state.

“Our biggest competitor was definitely Minooka. They are an amazing talented group of girls and they gave us something to fight for,” Sabrina Smulski, senior, co-captain said.

The girls felt they were ready to face the competition and give it their all.

“For state we knew we would really need to feed off of each other’s energy and give 110% effort,” Emma Rivecco, sophomore, said.

According to the coaches and team members, individually each teammate needs to show their true abilities and colors to conquer any competitor.

“From the results of doing well in previous competitions, other teams have really stepped up their game and created nice routines, but so have we,” Brooke Henderson, senior, co-captain, said.

Ever since conference, they have been working hard to finish the competition season strong.

“That point in time where it’s crunch time and you have competitions, conference, fighting for top 6 at sectionals, it can all be a bit demanding,” Henderson said.

The girls also had to overcome the adversity of lower numbers, requiring younger girls to step up sooner than usual.

“Coach Gabel and I chose to conjoin JV and varsity due to our numbers. We thought it would be beneficial to group together both teams. That way all girls were able to compete,” Katie Jeray, head-coach, said.

Since the JV team became a part of varsity, the expectation is higher for them.

“It’s very different, last year going from JV to varsity was pretty stressful. JV was more of an introduction to Poms where as varsity is a lot more advanced and fast paced,” Rivecco said.

One of the biggest advantages the poms team has is the chemistry and passion of each teammate.

“Communicating as a team is really important because it can really affect the performance. The judges can tell when a team is lacking team support from one another. The girls have done a great job coming together as a whole,” April Gabel, assistant-coach, said.