Though the football team came up short on state dreams this season, the team that cheered for them brought two more banners to Waukee heavily decorated rafters.
The Waukee cheer squad left the Iowa State Cheerleading Championships held Nov. 2 in Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines with 4A state titles in both the stunt and dance divisions.
This makes for the cheer/dance team’s ninth state title and the stunt group’s third title.
Head coach Miranda Conner said this was the team’s “redemption season” after placing second at last year’s competition, and now adds to the team’s state wins in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
“Finally taking that state championship title back was amazing,” Conner said. “We were able to win two state champion titles in one day. For just that has not happened since 2012 and it’s hard for schools to win both.”
Waukee made state history as well with the cheer/dance team pulling off a full up-switch up, becoming the first school to complete such a move in 4A state competition.
The cheer/dance team also had to call an audible the week heading into the state competition. Waukee practiced with 20 athletes all season but at the last minute had to work with only 19 students. With only a couple practices left, the Warriors had to redo the two and a half minute routine.
“We knew we did the best we could and it was now in the hands of the judges,” Conner said.
The stunt team comprised of five athletes were similarly nervous of their placement following their 90 second routine. It won by five points among 14 competing schools. With only the top five routines being called upon, there was still some uncertainty.
“After they didn’t call our name second, we still weren’t sure if we won as we could have placed below fifth,” Conner said. “Finally, they called Waukee High School as stated champions.”
The Warriors’ dominance goes a step further. As the only high school in the state with two separate cheer teams, the Purple JV team competed in a separate contest. It won first prize among varsity teams at the Triton Cheer Challenge in Fort Dodge to complement the school’s state titles.
With the state titles now in the bag, the Warriors turn their sights to the national level.
Conner said the team is now prepping for NCA Nationals held Feb. 28 and March 1 in Dallas. Both the varsity (White) and JV (Purple) teams will compete. White has placed second and third in previous contests, losing by less than a .2 points on each occasion.
“We are opting that this will finally be our year and to take home not just one, but two national champion titles back to Waukee, Iowa,” Conner said.