Poplarville varsity cheer wins state competition
Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2016
Poplarville High School athletic program reaped a lot of success so far this year. The football team’s successful season as the 4A South State Champions inspired the Hornets varsity cheer team to excel, Poplarville Varsity Cheer Coach Keri Smith said, giving them the drive to place first in the 2A-4A Medium Varsity Division at the Mississippi High School Activities Association State Cheer Competition on Dec. 17.
“It was motivating to see the boys do well and it kept our spirits up. The excitement of football kept the girls focused and driven to do well, but it was also the positive atmosphere from the community that helped us,” Smith said.
Last year, the Poplarville varsity cheer team was hindered by injuries, which kept them from competing in the state competition. However, Smith said the “strong-minded group of girls” put the past behind them and focused on preparing for the state level competition.
“After summer camp this year, they were determined to be the best. This year was just a special year for Poplarville High School and we wanted to be part of that success,” Smith said.
Usually, the varsity cheer team participates in multiple competitions throughout the year, but with the football team’s lengthy post season, they had to cancel a few competitions to cheer and support their fellow Hornets.
“I don’t think having fewer competitions hurt us. We had a lot of pep rallies and other things that got the girls extra repetitions and it got us prepared in a more unique way,” Smith said.
The Poplarville cheer team competed against 10 other schools in the 2A-4A Medium Varsity Division, placing over Amory High School, 2nd place, and Newton County High School, 3rd place. Smith said the highest place the Poplarville varsity cheer team achieved in recent years was third. Like the football team, the heavy leadership from a senior class that has cheered together for the past six years fueled the squad to find their own success, Smith said, and set the bar high for the upcoming years.
“The future of the program looks bright,” Smith said. “It’s an exciting time for Poplarville and I am looking forward to watching the program grow.”