By nature, cheerleaders spend just about all their time cheering for other people, but after West Harrison won its second straight MHSAA state championship over the weekend, now they get to cheer for themselves.
While you may have seen the West Harrison cheer squad on the sidelines of football and basketball games, these boys and girls have earned the spotlight after bringing home their second straight state championship this past weekend.
The road to state was anything other than smooth this year though the entire team having to quarantine for two weeks earlier in the fall and having to rearrange their entire routine the week of competition due to illness and injury. West Harrison Head Coach Heather Serpas said, “They’ve been very resilient and just easily adapting to changes that we had to make. They never complain. They always kept a positive attitude. So that was one of the main things that stuck out this year.”
Senior John Breland said, “With COVID and everything, everybody tried to stay calm and not worry about too much, especially when we got quarantined. We all just tried to stay cool about it and just be okay.”
In a normal year, West Harrison competes four times a year. This year, the hurricanes only had regionals to prepare for states. Despite all the obstacles, the hurricanes were crowned champions in the large co-ed game day category.
This West Harrison squad hasn’t always been on the fast track for championships though. That is until Serpas, herself a former cheerleader from Harrison Central where she and the Red Rebels were state champions four years straight, came in three years ago turned the Canes into the championship team they are. Senior Zimyria Boler said, “My favorite was winning State for the first time because we started out at the bottom. We weren’t a good team and then we had our coach come– Ms. Serpas– and she really helped us and made us the team we need to be and I’m really thankful for her.”
“They didn’t really believe in themselves. There was kind of like that mentality that they just expected to lose. But we’ve been working on that, building them up and this year they had so much confidence. And they went in there and just did there thing.”
Now West Harrison has their eyes set on placing at nationals in Orlando in March.