Kemmerer cheer team shines at State Spirit

The KHS cheer team poses at the 2023 State Spirit Competition in Casper. Front row: Anita McAffee, Haddy, Keira Heiner, Sasha Remp, Jacquie Gunter. Back Row: Cayenne Henrie, Maud De Groot, Regan Jackson, Jolee Swasey, Victoria Lavergne, Ranger Tim, Jamie Erickson, Shalin Slater, Coach Slater.

5th in 2A Game Day Cheer, 6th in 3A All Girl Cheer

With a talented mix of returning athletes and new faces, the Kemmerer High School cheer team performed well at the 2023 State Spirit Competition in Casper earlier this month, placing fifth in 2A Game Day Cheer and sixth in 3A All Girl Cheer (Stunts).

“The girls did a really good job,” said KHS head coach Sheril Slater. “They hit their stunts, and did really great – it was a good showing for them. It was the first time they had done all girls stunt in a long time, so they did really, really well.”

This year’s state squad was made up of 12 girls, led by four seniors and Slater, who returned to coaching after a seven-year break.

“About half of the girls were returners, and half of them were new,” Slater said. “It was a great combination of talent, dedication and hard work. I had quite a few really talented seniors that came through, and they just worked hard – every time we had to change the routine, they just did it.”

The four seniors – led by captain Jacquie Gunter – provided leadership, and helped Slater settle into her role as head coach.

“She [Gunter] really helped us stick together,” Slater said. “I had been out of coaching for seven years, and she was a big help in knowing what we needed to do, and when we needed to get it done. She was a pusher – she just kept pushing to keep things moving, to get things done. Keira Heiner was the same way – Jacquie was our main top, and Keira was one of our main bases. They just got up and got things done. The other two were foreign exchange students – this was their first year cheering, and they did such a great job, they were so dedicated. They were Victoria Lavergne and Maud De Groot. Victoria ended up doing a little bit of everything, and Maud was one of our best bases and spotters. It was just a great combination of girls.”

The day of the State Spirit Competition at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper was not without its share of nervous energy among the Lady Rangers, though Slater said they didn’t allow it to negatively affect them.

“The whole experience was very positive,” she said. “You never know when you go on the floor – especially when you have so many new girls – if they’ll be so nervous that it will affect their performance. But we got there, and we hung out; I took their cell phones, because I’m mean like that. So then they had to focus. There were nerves, sure, but they hit every stunt. If a stunt got wobbly, they stuck with it and really, that’s all you can ask for – to hit what they need to, when they need to hit it. The rest is technique, and what the judges decide.”

In 2A Game Day Cheer, Kemmerer finished with a score of 73.40 – just .45 points behind fourth-place Rocky Mountain. In 3A All Girl Cheer, Kemmerer finished sixth with a score of 73.75.

“Of course you’re disappointed when you don’t place, but this was my first time ever coaching game day, so I learned some things for the future, and my younger girls did, as well,” Slater said. “We did what we wanted to do – we were just a little sad that it wasn’t enough to place. But I know if I get some of those girls coming back, it will be more to build on.”

“I’m just very proud of the girls,” Slater added. “It was very fun to work with them this year. They were a great group of girls.”