The Burnet high school and middle school cheerleaders are (front row, left) Emma Corona, Kaity McCulley, Jordyn Moore, KayLee Crawford, KayLisa Noble, Kelaney Mooney, Grace Magee, and Kieran Mather; (middle row, left) Ashlee Dixon, Chloe Langbein, Carrie Guthrie, Madi Stires, Andon Deshazo, Yamile Ramirez, Faran Ischy, Montana Dumpert, Naomi Loehr, Ainsley Goehring, and Hannah Wilson; and (back row, left) Bailey Hopkins and Penelope Paz. Courtesy photo
The Burnet High School cheer squad took another leap closer toward their Class 4A state meet goal: finishing in the top 10.
The squad finished second in the NCA/Italy Game Day Regional Championship in Italy, Texas, on December 7, qualifying for the state competition.
Burnet advanced to the championship final after scoring first in the preliminaries in band chant, fight song, and cheer. Burnet also earned a specialty award for Best Sideline Spirit for the entire competition.
This is the first time Burnet competed at the event.
Cheer head coach Cindy Roberts said the squad’s success is attributed to two thing: hard work and dedication.
Unlike other squads, Burnet chose not to hire a professional choreographer because of the cost. Instead, senior captains Carrie Guthrie, Farran Ischy, and Hannah Wilson worked closely with Roberts in the spring to choreograph each of the three routines. It takes about four hours to choreograph one minute of the routine, she said.
The coach didn’t want to think about the numerous hours the cheerleaders spent learning the routines together and on their own.
“They put in a lot of effort and a lot of time,” she said.
As a high school physics teacher, Roberts said she is a problem solver, which means asking for help from experts such as Burnet High School Highlandettes director Caity Clinton and ensuring the moves in each routine are movements her student-athletes can do.
“The girls can get it,” the coach said. “We know we can get it. Once we have a routine ready, let’s see what the judges think about it.”
The team will compete at the Vista Ridge Cheer Invitational at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, December 14, at Vista Ridge High School, 200 S. Vista Ridge Blvd. in Cedar Park, and will be joined by the Burnet Middle School cheer squad. The middle school squad also competed in the regional meet.
The goal for the invitational meet is to get feedback from the judges in preparation for the Class 4A state championship on Saturday, January 17, at the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St. in Fort Worth.
Roberts said 84 teams will compete at the state meet. Judges will choose 20 squads to advance to the final and pick the top 20 from that group.
In 2018, Burnet was 11th. Last year, the team was 19th.
“Our kids know a lot of things,” Roberts said. “They take ownership and they put in a lot of time and their own ideas. They love it as much as we do.”