Warrior Cheer Squad Advances to States


Image/Graphics by Ashley Warner

The squad poses with Hershey’s chocolate bars after they find out that they will be advancing to the state competition!

The West Branch Varsity Competition Cheer Team performed at Altoona High school for their PIAA District 6 competition on December 11th, 2021. The Warriors practiced for five days a week, working hard on their routine for the competition. Their cheerleading routine contains stunts, cheers, jumps, dances, and a pyramid. The cheerleaders’ main goal was to show the judges how hard they worked to be there. 

The Warriors took the mat, and their performance was top-notch. The stunts were executed up to par, and the routine exceeded expectations. The spectators were astounded during the performance, and the crowd erupted in applause once the routine finished. All competitors danced to music on the mat while awaiting results. When it was time for judging, the squad held hands in a circle on the mat. The announcer on the loudspeaker began to list the teams who qualified to move on. After a long pause, it was official: the Warriors were going to the state competition. 

The Warrior Cheer Team jumped up to celebrate, upon hearing the news. The girls were very proud of each other, and they were thrilled to have the opportunity. Most of all, the coaches were beyond excited to celebrate the victory with the team. Head Coach, Heather Dobo, elaborates her thoughts on her gratitude for the team: “I was incredibly proud when they advanced to States. Our girls worked very hard the last two months, had to make a lot of changes to their routine and their hard and tenacity paid off! These young ladies can do anything they put their mind to.” The commitment to a sport is the most important aspect of having a successful team, and the commitment was demonstrated in districts. All the hard work and dedication the girls had put into cheerleading gave them the chance to knock out the competition. Senior Captain Gretchen Yatchick reflects on the team’s opportunity: ”I think it is great that the younger girls on the squad are getting to experience going to states early on in their high school career. I am glad I am able to experience this one last time before I graduate.” 

The varsity squad celebrated their victory after the competition, and they will continue to practice weekly to prepare for states. 

The team is coached by Head Coach Heather Dobo and is accompanied by Assistant Coaches Alisa Liptack and Mallarie Maines. Both the coaches and the girls on the squad are dedicated to the sport, and they have worked through every challenge they have faced this season. 

They travel to the Hershey Giant Center for the PIAA State Championship on Thursday, and they will perform on Friday, January 28th. Stay tuned to find out if the cheerleaders will advance to the semi-finals!