By Tori Voyles

Cheer competition season has come toan end. The team started out strong at the Friends University and Sterling College competitions,had a bit of a hiccup atBethel College, but came back and finished strong at both KCAC in York College and Regionals at OCU. The team has donea tremendous job thisseason battling throughunexpected tests andtrials along the way. Withnew members added tothe team this year, even a couple at the end of the fall semester, meantmaking some adjustmentsfor the returners and a lot of new skills that had to quickly be mastered by the newcomers in ashort amount of time.Just like anyone would expect of the backbone of the rallying spirit of McPherson College, the cheer team rose up to all of the challengesthey were faced with and conquered them oneby one. Placing eighth out of ten teams atRegionals may not seem overwhelmingly good to most observers, but forthis team it meant theworld. They had taken in the advice of the judgesfrom prior competitionsand upgraded all of the stunts, taking higher risks and earning more skill points for difficulty levels. Having only a few days between each competition, the team didan amazing job tackling those upgrades and wentout to perform their best atregionals. However, life ismessy and likes to try tothrow even cheerleaders off their game. Due to illness, one of the flyershad to drop out of thecompetition the morning of Regionals. Being quick on her feet, Coach Annis,with only an hour to spare, reworked stunt groupswithin the routine and made it possible for thecheer team to get out thereand compete the best theycould. The team rallied together in a moment of crisis and encouraged each other to push throughthe routine, no matterwhat. Quick to adapt and overcome, the team wentout to perform and hit their stunts wonderfully, despite all the last-minutechanges. They placed eighth, beating Friends University and Oklahoma Pan Handle. The team took great pride in this small victory, it meant so much more than just a place or a score. It wasproof that all their hard work from the season paidoff. In their hearts, they won. Now the season is done for the team. They will be staying active and recruiting for next year and all the fun that willcome along with it.