Varsity Cheer Team Qualifies for Nationals

Junior+Kaitlyn+Marmouget+celebrates+a+touchdown+at+a+football+game+against+Willard.+

Skylar Hembree

Junior Kaitlyn Marmouget celebrates a touchdown at a football game against Willard.

Allison Yates, Writer

While many sports practice for 6 months, the cheer team practices almost all year. They attend football and basketball games as well as competing at Regionals and State competitions. This year, the varsity cheer team is stepping it up and competing at the UCA Nationals competition in Orlando, Florida for the first time in program history.

Head Coach, Tess Keller has been coaching for 7 years, but this is only her second year coaching at Ozark.

“A few things that I believe are important when being an Ozark cheerleader are your academic efforts, your character when you’re at cheer and when you’re not, and your ability to be coachable and work as a team player,” said Coach Keller. 

The UCA Nationals competition is the most prestigious high school competition that a school cheerleading team can compete at.

“We’re super excited for this year because it’s something different that the Ozark cheer team has never participated in. It’s a competition that the girls can work towards along with Regionals and State,” said Coach Keller.

Kaitlyn Marmouget, junior, has been on varsity since her freshman year.

“We’ve been practicing for Nationals since August when we got our routine. The team qualified for Nationals via video since the qualifier was virtual because of COVID-19. The judges watched the video and critiqued us, then gave us our scoresheet along with our overall score,” said Marmouget. 

Since Ozark has never attended Nationals, it’s a new experience for every athlete on the team. “The thing that I am most excited about going to Nationals is the experience and the memories that I’m going to make. It’s something that none of us have done before and I can’t wait,” said Marmouget.

The girls compete at the UCA Nationals competition in February. “We’re excited to grow as a team and family. We build so many relationships and we learn life lessons along the way, that’s what makes the team bond that is necessary to maximize our skills and become an elite squad in the world of cheer,” said Coach Keller.