SCHS Pom Pon squad earns trip to state

Leader photo by Amy Weaver

After placing fifth out of 14 teams at regionals Saturday, the Shawano Community High School Pom Pon squad will be working hard for the next two weeks, like they did after school Monday, as they prepare for the state competition Feb. 5.

By Amy Weaver

Leader Reporter

The energy never dies with the Shawano Community High School Pom Pon squad. Whether it's a practice after school, the half-time show of a boys basketball game, or a weekend competition, the 19-member crew gives 110 percent.

That effort was rewarded Saturday, when the squad earned a trip to the state Pom Pon competition in Wisconsin Rapids Feb. 5

After a hard practice Monday afternoon, the team watched a video tape of their performance at the regional competition.

Nineteen faces stared at the small screen, in full concentration of their every move, and 19 faces cheered when their toe touches were in sync and when they completed what appeared to be a flawless routine.

The strength and cohesiveness of the entire team is the reason the girls nailed their routine at regionals, Coach Robin Prey said.

"I always tell them that they can't go out there as 19 individuals, but that they have to go out there as one," she said. "On Saturday, we hit it as one."

Captains Shasta Prey and Michaela Crawford said their showing at regionals was so successful because they moved well as a team and showed lots of energy.

Among the 14 Division II teams from the northern region, Shawano finished fifth after Onalaska, Xavier, Fox Valley Lutheran and the top school, West De Pere. The top seven teams go on to state.

The team went to state last year, but did not place among the top teams.

"Maybe it's our year this year," the coach said. "If they perform like they did at regionals, it could be."

The girls seem to think so. Crawford said the team should at least place this year.

"We showed (at regionals) that we have the potential to place," Shasta Prey added. "We have a good chance to get up there."

The squad may have the capability to do well, but they do not have high expectations of themselves or their performance, she said.

"It's the opinion of four or five people," she said. "What matters is how we feel about it."

So this year's state contest could be a different story for the Shawano team. This team is more diverse and younger as only 10 of the 19 girls are returning members. However, they have a lot of faith in each other.

"They were exceptionally better this year than last," Robin Prey said. "I think their confidence level was way up Saturday. They just shined from the time they hit the floor."

The belief each has in one another is what makes them work together as one solid unit. They know that each girl will be on her mark and execute the routine to the best of her ability, the coach said.

The feeling of accomplishment and placing so well at regionals is going to be hard to replace, but the girls plan to use that fire to better themselves for state.

Helping fuel the fire will be the spirit of Jessica Trevarthen, a former member of the team.

"J.T. was with them on Saturday," Robin said. "They could feel her presence."

Trevarthen, who graduated from SCHS last year, died in a car accident Jan. 8. She was 18.

"She was supposed to be there Saturday watching us," Shasta said. "She was with us at state last year and she worked so hard to get there."

Trevarthen's death has left an impact on the tight-knit family, but Shasta said the team knows Trevarthen will continue to support them at state as she did at regionals.

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