ROCK SPRINGS – It was a long climb to the top for the Rock Springs High School cheerleading team and the Sweetwater County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees are recognizing the group for its state title next month.
The recognition was initially set to take place during the Monday, Feb. 12 board meeting, but the cheer team was unavailable for the meeting. Also postponed is recognition for the RSHS dance team’s state title successes.
The cheer team earned a state title in 4A All Girl Stunt Cheer, receiving a score of 83.8 points. RSHS was the only school scoring above 80 points, as the runners up representing Cheyenne East High School scored 77.80.
Prior to their state championship, head coach Dena Douchant said the team took second in the event in the prior four years. Leading up to the announcement, Douchant said the team was feeling both excitement and nervousness prior to learning they earned the championship. As team scores were being read by the announcer and not hearing RSHS named, she said the girls began to ask each other if they had won the event, saying those moments were very emotional for all the teams involved at the competition.
And, for the first time since 2008, Rock Springs walked away with a state title.
“There was an unbelievable feeling of happiness and pride in the kids,” she said.
The cheer season is a long one for students, beginning in the summer and pushing into the fall and winter months. Douchant said participants have practices four days a week, with two-a-day practices taking place during Christmas break to prepare the team for the late January state competition. State spirit originally took place during the state basketball tournaments in March, but the schedule was shifted following the COVID-19 pandemic as it is easier to host the event and find judges in January. Douchant said the schedule demands a lot from the kids, but they’ve persevered.
“It’s very taxing on these kids, but they come out just smiling,” she said.
Moving forward, there isn’t much rest for the coach as she’s busy helping seniors interested in collegiate cheer prepare for their auditions. Additionally, the seven team members who earned All-State accolades will prepare to perform with the rest of the 4A All-State Cheer team at a March 2 University of Wyoming women’s basketball game.
The following students were named to the 4A Wyoming All State Cheer squad:
Jendaya Coletti, senior captain, three-time Wyoming All-State Cheer recipient
Natalee Williams, senior captain, two-time Wyoming All-State Cheer recipient
Brilee Albiston, senior, first time Wyoming All-State Cheer recipient
Nevaeh Anderson, junior captain, two-time Wyoming All-State Cheer recipient
Bridgette Taylor, junior captain, two-time Wyoming All-State Cheer recipient
Ireland Lew, junior, first time Wyoming All-State Cheer recipient
Brooke East, sophomore, first time Wyoming All-State Cheer recipient