Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The state now knows what the Region V Southeast Conference has known this season, the Juneau-Douglas High School Yadaa.At Kalé Crimson Bears cheerleaders are champions.
The JDHS cheer squad was chosen the 2021 March Madness Alaska High School State Champions on Tuesday. The competition was held virtually. JDHS also won this year’s region title in a virtual competition.
JDHS cheer competed against 14 teams at the virtual state competition. Head coach Carlene Nore and assistant coach and choreographer Colby Sanders taped the team’s performances at the JDHS auxiliary gym.
“It is like full circle for seniors,” JDHS senior Katrina Taton said. “Especially because we came in our freshman year, and we won state as well and we really wanted to go out winning. We are just so grateful to even participate because there are a lot of schools that weren’t able to.”
Taton began cheering at age six for the Juneau Youth Football League program. She was involved with high school basketball cheer for four years.
For the virtual competition teams were scored on the following events: Sideline Cheer, Time Out Cheer, Situational Cheer and Routine.
JDHS scored 190 points. Ketchikan was second with 178.50.
Nore said the team had a goal this season of winning regions and state.
“We lost the Region title last year and we couldn’t compete last year due to COVID at the State level,” she said. “With a short season, we knew we’d have to work hard. We took advantage of competing virtually and used the judge’s feedback to improve and make changes. Each opportunity to compete helped us reach our goals.”
Nore said the team was thankful for the opportunities and support from their families, school and the school district.
The Crimson Bears cheer team placed well in other events the season.
Those included the Universal Cheer Association (UCS) competition, where they placed second in the Varsity Co-Ed Game Day Division. In the World Class Cheerleading Competition, they placed second in the Varsity Non-Tumble Game Day division, first in the Varsity Non-Tumble Traditional Routine, first in the Varsity Co-Ed five person Stunt Group, first in the Varsity five Person Stunt Group and first in the Varsity Non Tumble Fight Song.
The JDHS cheer team includes seniors Katrina Taton, Matthew Naputi, Taylor Stevenson, Julia Domin, Sophia Caputo and Jennaya Morris; juniors Aurora Johnson, Mason Harris, Krisbenluissila Iona, Tessalahnah Silva and Ian Bugayong; sophomores Piper Robidoux, Gilian Essary, Natalie Wittwer and Emma Busby; and freshmen Claire Durling, Ryan Shattuck, Ariella Hill-Cristobal, Julia Felix, Mila Griffin, Hannah Dawson, Samantha Sassi and Emily DelGado.
Taton said the amount of support for the cheer team was amazing.
“Especially because cheer isn’t really respected in some places so we are really grateful to have our family and friends and our school to root for us so much,” she said.