Girls poms places 2nd at conference


Jayden Johnson

The girls compete in the SPC conference competition on Jan. 13th where they earned a second place finish.

Jayden Johnson, News Editor

With a 2nd place finish at the Southwest Prairie conference, the poms team is finishing their season with high spirits. Despite not making it to state by 0.125 points, the team is proud of their progress since the beginning of the season.  

  “This year we had some challenges based on people being out sick from COVID or unexpected injuries,” Coach Amber Stambaugh said. “We had to change our strategies and formations a lot, so a lot went into that and certain parts of choreography. We also watched our judges’ critiques and noted what they noticed weren’t working as well.”  

  The consistent detours and unexpected did not slow them down, and if anything, it made them strive to be better in practice and during competitions. Their persistence would pay off in competitions and continuously pushed them to be better.  

  “This team is the hardest, most positive and humble team that I’ve ever coached,” Stambaugh said. “We were all on the same track and had all of the same end goals in mind to get to where we wanted to be. They work really well together and that made them really enjoyable to be around them for practices and for competitions.” 

   Their persistence paid off as they placed 2nd place at the runner’s up for the Southwest Prairie competition, 3rd out of 17 teams at the Oak Forest competition and 4th at the Stagg competition right behind Lake Park, which is currently the highest scoring team in the ranks.  

  Despite other teams having substantially more equipment to practice and more resources available, the team has proudly and confidently held their own.  

  “We don’t even have the space to practice like every other school does. We practice in the cafeteria – which we always joke about because here we are in a school café competing against schools that literally have wings put on their building just for the dance team,” Stambaugh We practice only about 1 ½ hours every day we meet, which is about 3 times a week. We like to count the games we perform at as practice, and even then, it’s not as much as or even close to where we practice. Even with this, I feel our performance along with our grit really helps us excel.” 

  Junior Gabriella Quaresima, a member on the team, agrees. 

  “The amount of grit and positivity on this team is insane,” Quaresima said. “After such a tough loss and not being able to attend state this year, we still have so much more to pull out of our sleeves. We have stuck together through thick and thin and now we know what we need to do our best.” 

  The team also feels they differ from most with their unique personalities.  

  “I think that there are a lot of differences we have. One of our best strengths is that I feel we are always prepared,” Stambaugh said. “They’re proactive and know what they need to do to succeed, and I believe this is what helps us progress in the rankings as seasons go on. The talent here on this team is absolutely incredible and it’s my favorite team that I have ever coached…and that may sound bad to my older dancers!” She laughed.