Earning a state championship is a major accomplishment for any team. Earning two is better. A third? Excellent.
It's also, for the Prairie Valley Warrior cheerleaders, a school record for the most trophies brought home from a state championship.
They took first in the 1A Division, along with first and third in Group Stunt Small School.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Prairie Valley Warrior Cheerleading Coach Mindy DeBaun, right, watches as members of her State Champion squad demonstrate a stunt at the United Center in Fort Dodge. The students are, from left, Tristin Nelson, Jacey Hanna, Kendra Nelson and Tatum Friesth. Jacey DeBaun completes the top.
Head Coach Mindy DeBaun is proud of her team.
"This was one of the best teams we've ever competed with," she said. "They have the teamwork, talent and dedication to succeed."
At the competition, held at the State Fairgrounds on Nov. 3, the team was up against 17 other schools. After everyone performed once, the top five teams were asked to perform again.
"We never sat down," DeBaun said.
Even then, the team had a pretty good idea of how they did. "They knew they had done well."
Jacey DeBaun, a freshman member of the team, reflected on the competition.
"It was going to be tough," she said. "We knew if we worked hard and nailed our stunts we'd be in a good spot."
Jacey DeBaun has three more years of competition before she graduates.
"It was a good way to start my freshman year," she said.
Senior Tristin Nelson was pleased with the results too.
"We finally won," Nelson said. "We didn't get second."
She has advice for her up and coming teammates. "Just work for it," she said.
They did that. Mindy DeBaun said the team practiced a solid 24 hours in the week leading up to the state event.
Jacey Hanna is another senior who has some words to leave. "When you lose," she said, "it's OK."
She's pretty happy with the season's finale and proud of her fellow squad members.
"We have a lot of talent on our team," she said.
Not only did the team do well at the State Championship, the cheerleaders also performed well at the Triton Challenge on Oct. 29. Mindy DeBaun said they took home four trophies, including Grand Champion in their division.
Tristin Nelson said that might cause a problem or two at school.
"There's no more room in our trophy case." she said.
The team still has one more goal for the year. They are seeking the school's permission to attend the National Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
"It's in progress," Mindy DeBaun said.