On Nov. 5, the Greenbrier West Cheer team traveled to the Region 3 Single A cheer competition held at the Charleston Civic Center, where they won.
Winning this year’s competition was bittersweet, according to senior cheerleader Gabbi Krystynak. “We didn’t compete last year and this year has been a tough year for the whole community of Greenbrier County. Our school has suffered the loss of our uniforms due to flood, loss of Coach G along with a hard year for our football team. We wanted this win more than ever. It is a great accomplishment for our senior girls – who have cheered all four years. I am just overwhelmed with pride.”
The West cheerleaders work very hard – practicing six days a week on routine, cheer and stunting. Chance Forren, a new member to the team this year, has given some added bonus points for his outstanding tumbling skills.
Coach Shannon Gilkeson along with Assistant Coach Cassie Shipe beamed with pride as they stood for pictures on Saturday. “After 14 years of cheering, this great feat does not come easy,” stated Gilkeson. “It is so deserved, and I believe Coach G was rooting for us and I could hear him saying, ‘You girls Rock.’”
Senior cheerleader Taylor Manspile stated it’s something she has dreamed about since she was a young cavalier cheerleader. She will miss those Friday nights of cheering but is thrilled to think about attending the state cheer competition. Meredith Lauderdale described the moment after her team performed : “I knew we stood a chance & that we performed well.
I just wanted the judges to believe in us. We have struggled this year and I love my team – we deserved to win.”
As the West girls performed first and their toughest competition performed last – you could see the excitement and anticipation on their faces. Senior Mickeala Reed said she was overcome with anxiety and the overwhelming thought that this could be the last time she dons a cheer uniform that she has worn for so many years. “It is just so hard to believe my cheer days are almost over. I knew we had to go out strong and bring back the title for the school, parents, students, community who donated funds for uniforms and our coaches.”
As the West cheerleaders waited to hear the results: the 13 cheerleaders stood tall and ran to the floor to grab their title as they were named the Region 3 Single A Champions.
A moment of joy that has not existed since 2007 for Greenbrier West. A day that brought pride, spirit and joy back to West and a dream come true as said by Cyera Boswell.
The Greenbrier West football team won their last season game as well on that same Saturday, A tribute to the beloved Coach G it is said.
Greenbrier West cheerleaders will perform at States on Dec. 10. Community support is greatly appreciated.