The Queen Creek High School Pom and Cheer teams competed at the Pink Arizona State competition on Feb. 7 & 8 and then headed to Nationals on Feb. 14 & 15 and found great success at both.
Pom took home first place in the DI small pom competition and then 3rd in the DI-3 large hip hop division at the Pink Arizona State tournament.
“We have watched this group of girls turn into real athletes and competitors this year,” said second-year head coach Bailey Moore. “It has been incredible to see this team learn to stay focused and positive, even during the toughest and most frustrating practices. The win at the Arizona State cheer and pom tournament was a direct result of the hard work and dedication that these girls have put into this season. We are incredibly proud of them and can’t wait to take this momentum [through the rest of the season].”
The Pink Arizona State competition is separate from the Arizona Interscholastic Association competition. The pink state tournament is a family-owned competition and has its own score sheet and rubric that is separate from the AIA competition. It is advantageous for teams to compete in each different competition so they can receive more feedback on their routines.
This year the pom coaches specifically made structural changes to the team to make themselves more competitive. They implemented a strenuous strength and cardio program. Every varsity member competes jazz and hip hop but only a select few have the privilege of competing pom.
“This [pom] group is chosen based on technique and professionalism and being selected to compete this routine is the highest honor,” said Moore. “This has created a motivational structure that has inspired other team members to train harder and learn advanced technique because they want to be on this elite part of the team.”
The pom team is comprised of six members including Willow Brook, Bridgette Brague, Kendra Dawson, Claire Horton, Brynlee Schureman and Emily Smolke. These six team members placed first in the pom competition and it was the team’s first championship finish since 2012.
“I am proud of the team because we have put in so much work these past few ears,” said Willow Brook, a senior who has competed on the pom team for three years. “We have learned to do our best in practice even when we are tired. It helps to have a team that supports you and hypes you up. I don’t know what I would do without them and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Queen Creek pom.”
The hip hop team is comprised of the six pom members as well as Mackenzie Cunningham, Lizzie Dunlop, Alyssa Fernandez, Bella Graves, Ava Hammer, Brooke Morgan, Lauryn Neus and Gabby Warn.
The pom team is planning to start offering weekly classes in the fall through YAP for middle school aged students to help equip future team members with the technique they will need to make the team. Please contact coach Bailey Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org for tryout information.
The Queen Creek cheer team also had a successful turnout at Pink State. The varsity show cheer team placed first in the 6A small division and the JV cheer squad took third.
“It’s amazing to see the success that comes with all of the hard work these girls put into the season,” said first-year heat coach Bree Bint. “I couldn’t be more proud of the drive and determination these kids have shown with all of the obstacles that have been thrown in their past. Both teams went into warm ups with smiles on their faces and a goal to accomplish and sure enough both teams did so well. Our coaching staff couldn’t be more proud of these amazing athletes.”
In the Pink State competition the cheer teams are divided into conferences and then split into large and small divisions. The Queen Creek cheer competed in the small division of 6A which was comprised of five teams.
The next weekend, the cheer team traveled to USA Spirit Nationals in Anaheim, California and qualified for finals, placing 9th out of 30 teams.
“Last year this team didn’t even make it to finals and this year we came back determined, ready to work [with] a drive to do whatever we had to do to accomplish our main goal of making finals,” said Coach Bint. “Not only did this team exceed our expectations, but they placed even higher than we expected. Blood, sweat, tears, 5 AM practices, Saturday practice and draining full-out practices have brought us the greatest joy of crushing our goal made back in June of 2019 when we started practice. We competed against some of the very best teams in the west coast and still we were able to show them who Queen Creek High School is.”