Cheerleaders take on new category at state


Photograph by Riesa Blackwell

Lily Schauwecker

  After a long five months of preparation, the Starkville High Competition squad is finally ready for their state competition on Saturday at the Mississippi High School Activities Association State Cheer Competition.

    “I think this year we are very prepared to take on the mat Saturday. We have put a lot of time and effort into making this routine the best we have ever done. I’m excited to experience my last competition with this amazing team,” senior Taylor Rupp said.

   Game Day competition is a new and different category at state. Previously, the SHS squad has competed in other categories. This year they have been preparing for their Game Day competition where they will perform a Band Chant, Situational Sideline, and a Cheer in that order– with choreographer Johnny Taylor since they hired him in late August.  

   Senior Gracee Burkley, although a veteran cheerleader, is a first-year cheerleader at SHS. “Our team has worked very hard each practice we’ve had. It’s not easy, but weve learned to push ourselvesbeyond limits. I’m so proud of our team and I believe we are one hundred percent ready,Burkley said.

    Choreographer Johnny Taylor has worked with many squads through the state, making high school cheer choreography his profession. Taylor has wonseventeen state titles with the Mississippi High School Activities Association. Taylor has also taken three high school teams from Mississippi to High School Nationals.

   “The cheerleaders have had a great opportunity to work with choreographer, Johnny Taylor this year. He works with the squad twice a month on Sundays to improve and perfect their routine, Head Coach Hannah Harris said.

     The Starkville High School Cheerleading Squad is hoping to win state in the Coed Game Day Division at the MHSAA State Cheer Competition from the help of Johnny Taylor and the dedication of their team and coaches.

   The squad leaves the morning of December 13, for Jackson where they will stay the night and then perform their routine at the Jackson Coliseum the next day at 7:18 p.m.