Trojans Have Spirit!
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Five state championships in one night.
It sounds like a plot in some Hollywood “feel good” movie about one school’s triumph. It sounds like it is too good to be true. Unreal.
But, it happened. On Wednesday, March 8th, the Kelly Walsh Dance and Cheer teams made their trek up to the Casper Events Center and made history. Three of the titles were being defended from last year’s state championship teams in the Dance Hip Hop category and the Cheer Stunt and Cheer Coed categories.
The competition was kicked off by the Cheer non-stunt routine. KW was scheduled to go 4th on the program. The team took the floor and immediately took command of the competition. The routine was perfect, and topped off with a 21 X 24-foot Trojan flag.
Up next was the 4A Jazz Dance category. This title has eluded the Lady Trojans for the last two years, and it was that elusion that motivated the girls every morning at the 6 a.m. practices. They wanted the Jazz title back. So the team went back to the basics.
“Tuesdays were technique days in practice. We focused all of our energy on perfecting our techniques,” said senior Maddy Jaquez. “We wanted the Jazz title badly, but also felt a lot of pressure to keep the Hip Hop title.”
They opted to not choose a specific theme, and just let their dance skills do the talking. In years past, KW has wowed the crowd with their chosen themes: Robots, Lunch Ladies, Soldiers, Boxers, Nerdy Girls. But the past two years; Tigers and Lady Warriors, didn’t work out. Both years the team suffered significant deductions for “illegal moves” and unfortunately relinquished their hold on the Jazz title. All of that changed on Wednesday. They marched out on to the Events Center floor in shiny silver-sequined uniforms and, accompanied by the music of Beyonce, took their title back.
The third category for Kelly Walsh was Cheer Stunt. Green River always brings it in this category so our girls knew they would have to be perfect. Kelly Walsh has a lot of skilled tumblers, and went with a higher degree of difficulty on several stunts. Once again, the Trojan performance was almost perfect. It was enough to beat Green River by .500 of a point.
One of the more emotional moments of the night took place when the KW Hip Hop Dance team took the Events Center floor toting a banner for Aurora Rohrer, their teammate that was killed in a car accident on February 4th. As the team stood behind the banner, they were surprised to see the audience welcome them with a standing ovation of support.
Rohrer would have been the 10th member on the dance floor for the Hip Hop routine. The night before she was killed she tried out for the spot and was to learn later that weekend whether or not she made the state team. Unfortunately, Aurora did not live to learn she had made the team. From that moment on, the KWDT dedicated the rest of their dance season to Aurora.
With a crowd full of KW supporters, the Hip Hop team took the floor, and took their second title of the evening.
The final event of the night was the COED Cheer routine. This routine was special because it was to be the last routine coached by Christi Bekke. Bekke informed administration a month before state that she would be stepping down from coaching. A job she held at KW for 10 years.
The CO-ED routine had the largest margin of victory, winning with a total score of 111.667. The 2nd place team, Cheyenne South took 2nd with a score of 102.333. The victory was a landslide of epic proportions in a cheer competition. Kelly Walsh Cheer sent Christi Bekke riding off into the sunset with 3 state titles in one night. In the 10 years that Bekke coached KW Cheer, the team won 8 titles.
The 2017 State Spirit competition was capped off with the awards ceremony. As each category was announced, the teams held their breath as the results were read. The first title was awarded to both KW and Green River as they tied for first in Non Stunt. But for the rest of the ceremony it was all Kelly Walsh. Never before has a school swept the competition in all five spirit categories. It truly was a historical night for the Trojans.
And while Aurora was deeply missed all evening by her Trojan family, one couldn’t help but think that she was beaming down on her teammates and fellow Trojans as they became champions.