Never-ending spirit: All-State Cheer continues despite changes

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Kerry Krueger

The 2018 Iowa All-State cheerleaders stunt during their performance for the boys basketball state tournament.

Addi Steele, Photo Manager

For many high school athletes in the state of Iowa, being a part of an All-State team is a distinguished honor. This is no different for cheerleading. 

For most sports, to be considered All-State, an athlete’s performance throughout the season is considered. 

Cheerleading, however, is different. To be chosen, cheerleaders must try out in front of a panel of judges and are scored on their performance. The top 20-45 scores make the Iowa All-State Cheerleading team.

This year, five PV athletes made the team: Savannah Ervin, Ella Hurst, Macie Skahill, Caleigh Spinks and Addi Steele, along with two alternates: Caity Burke and Sophie Malmen.

The COVID-19 pandemic made tryouts a little different. Instead of performing in front of judges, cheerleaders performed their routines virtually through prerecorded videos. This included jumps, tumbling and a given cheer and dance.

Freshman Ella Hurst was thankful for the opportunity to have her tryout sent in virtually. “The virtual tryout is something I appreciate a lot,” Hurst explained. “It gives the athletes the chance to perfect their tryout.”

A cheerleader’s All-State experience does not end after being chosen, in the way it does for other sports. Starting in January, All-State cheerleaders make the journey to Ames, Iowa once or twice a month to put together a routine they will perform at the Iowa high school boys basketball state tournament in March.

Although the future may be unclear for All-State 2021 with COVID-19 on the rise, PV cheer coaches and All-State athletes remain hopeful for the chance to perform.

Hurst’s outlook is optimistic despite the current situation with the pandemic. “I’m looking forward to being able to perform and the whole process in general,” Hurst shared. “I think it will be a great experience and I can’t wait to see what’s to come.”

Coach Telly Skahill is hopeful that her cheerleaders will receive their All-State experience. “All-State is a builder of self-esteem, future opportunities and memories to take with them as they are part of a select few that will all come together in this great experience,” Skahill expressed. “This year should be a bit different, but I hope that as COVID dwindles, these girls get the full effect of what they made the team for and tried out with.”

Time will tell whether or not the All-State cheerleaders will get their performance in this unprecedented year, but regardless each athlete will have the deserving title of being an All-State cheerleader.