Breaking news: POMCATS continue to qualify for state competitions


Photo curtesy of Amber Stambaugh

The POMCATS team after a competition.

Raven Easterly, In-depth Editor

The POMCATS have qualified for state competitions for years; every year since the IHSA took over the competitive high school dance program, the team has qualified.

“This is a huge accomplishment, and many of our conference teams can’t say that they have been able to do this,” Amber Stambaugh, poms coach, said.

Getting into the IHSA state final for competitive is dance different than 10 years ago, when the competitive circuits allowed more teams to qualify. They increased the difficulty to lessen the number of teams who qualify. There are five sectionals competitions and 14 3A teams compete at each, only allowing the top six to qualify for state.

The team has had a limited amount of time to practice for their competitions, making this victory even sweeter.

“The Pom kids competitive team has been practicing since summer with numerous breaks, cancellations, and quarantines in between,” Stambaugh said. “When IHSA made the decision to have us start again for winter sports, our region wasn’t even open to allow this to happen yet.”

The team’s biggest challenge so far has been finding a space to allow the team to practice while maintaining social distancing, limiting the number of practices the team is able to participate in before competitions.

 “We started practicing on February 6 and our first competition was on February 15. Since we have virtual competitions this year we had to film and send in videos of our routine in order to compete,” Stambaugh said.
  Even with the shortened time, the team has been able to keep their motivation high and work towards state competitions.
  “The team has been all heart and dedication and has made this year a success because of what they put in outside of practice,” Stambaugh said.
    The team’s seniors have been able to show leadership for the other members through the struggles, giving the team a boost to success.
  “Our leadership has come from our senior group of dancers and they have carried on the POMCATS tradition and have been able to find success as leaders and have set a great example for all of our underclassmen,” Stambaugh said.
  The team recorded and submitted their routine for state and has placed 17th.