With a near flawless routine, Booneville won its second state cheerleading title in a three year span on Dec. 17, outpacing West Fork in the Class 1A-4A co-ed division in the competition held at the Hot Spring Convention Center.
“Our score wasn’t perfect, but we had no deductions which means we didn’t do anything illegal, drop any stunts or have touch downs in tumbling,” said Cheer Cats head coach Rachael May. “All other teams in our division had deductions.
“Our routine was packed with difficulty, so hitting zero deductions was huge.”
In the end, Booneville’s squad of six boys and nine girls won by 5.2 points, which May said is an enormous margin.
“Winning the second title is even better than winning the first,” she said. “Well, you want it worse anyway because you know how it will feel.”
While not wanting to shortchange the 12-girl squad that won the 2015 title, also by five points, May said this team is special.
“This team is the most talented team I’ve ever coached,” said May. “The requirement to be on the team was a running tuck. I use to see teams like that and say yea, in a perfect world.
“But it was a reality for us this year.”
A running tuck, by the way, is “an upper level tumble pass,” May said.
What is also a reality is the squad saved its best for last.
“We really struggled through the season even though we were loaded with talent,” said May, who was selected to coach the all star cheerleaders after coaching the school to its first title in 2015. “It was the little things that kept going wrong. We never competed at a competition this year without deductions until state. Our routine was packed with difficulty, so hitting zero deductions was huge.”
Making it even more special for May was that her daughter, Brooklyn is a senior on the squad.
“I love coaching my daughter. It’s the most special thing a coach gets to do when they win a state championship with their child,” said May. “Two titles was really special, and of course, we have a state runner up title together as well.
“I’m really close to all of the seniors on the team, and I’m going to miss them. They are a special group of kids.”
Now with two titles in cheerleading, Booneville has 15 combined state titles and another nine runner-up finishes in its history.
Team members are Abbie Heissler, Allyson Lindley, Austin Dobbs, Brianna Smith, Brooklyn May, Jacob Gregory, Lane Beckett, Lexi Ross, Carleigh Ingram, Ethan Dobbs, Lindsey Bastion, Andrew Robertson, Landon Beckett, Brooklyn Zarlingo, Raven McCubbin, Mikey Hesson (alternate) and Taylin Draper (alternate).