By EMILIE NELSON
Messenger staff writer
The St. Edmond Gaels will be well represented at the Boy's State Basketball Tournament this week.
Besides the team making it all the way to Wells Fargo Arena again this year and the hundreds of fans that will make the trip to cheer on their team, six members of the St. Edmond Cheer Squad have received the honor of representing the school on the Iowa All-State Cheer Squad.
The St. Edmond cheerleaders will make up one-sixth of the 36 member squad this year. The six cheerleaders were among the more than 200 cheerleaders from across the state, representing schools of all sizes, to try out for a spot on the prestigious squad. Each St. Edmond cheerleader trying out earned a position.
The honor took some of the cheerleaders by surprise.
"I was shocked when I got the call that I made it," said sophomore Taryn
O'Tool. "I just didn't think there was any way I would have been chosen this year."
Since being selected, the squad has practiced its routine together once a month at intense day-long rehearsals in Ankeny. They have been putting together a three and a half minute routine consisting of tumbling, jumps, stunting, dancing and cheers.
"You can't miss a practice or you can't be on the squad," said sophomore Emily Averill. "Even if you're sick, you at least have to be there."
"The hard work all pays off," said senior Lia Peralta. "Once you perform, it's all worth it.
The squad will perform during the half-times of the 1:35, 3:20 and 6 p.m. games. The 6 p.m. performance will be televised.
"I'm a little nervous about the televised routine," said senior Laura Condon. "Really, just nervous in general."
"People are really impressed by the routines," said junior Emily Eastwood. "Even if they don't know cheerleading, they see how much goes into it."
Following their final performance of the evening, each member of the squad will be presented with a medal and plaque.
"It's worth it just to get to say you were an all-state cheerleader," said senior Haley Ashenfelter.
Contact Emilie Nelson at 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org