Comeback season: pom and cheer win state, make school history


Megan Lange

Pom celebrates their State Championship win for their Jazz routine. This is the first time in school history pom has won a State title.

Last Saturday, March 12, pom and cheer traveled to Veterans Memorial to compete in their last competition of the season: AIA State. After unexpected results at State last year, both teams went into this year’s season determined to prove themselves.

“It was tough feeling so good about our performance and then placing how we did,” said senior pom captain Makenzi Lauritzen, “but most of our team is veterans and so we were able to use those feelings as like an extra push to get us where we ended up.”

This season, pom attended six total competitions. One of their most notable ones, aside from State, was UDA Nationals in Orlando which took place February 4-7. It was the team’s second year attending the competition and first year competing in the Gameday category where they placed 4th overall. Along with Gameday, they competed in Pom where they placed 6th out of 57, and Jazz where they placed 15th out of 72. 

The weekend after that, cheer also competed at UDA Nationals for the second time ever. They competed in two categories: Gameday and Traditional. In Gameday, they placed 3rd out of 32, for their Traditional routine, they went straight through from qualifiers to finals, skipping semis, and ended up placing 4th out of 108 routines.

“We went into Florida with one goal and that was to hit and that’s exactly what we did,” said senior cheer captain Hallie Kimball. “We showed the multi-winning teams next to us that we are just as worthy of being there.”

Between their time at Nationals and their time at State, both teams had one competition each. For pom, it was the Arizona State Pom and Cheer Tournament, also known as “Pink State.” They placed 1st in Division 1 Varsity Pom and 1st in Division 1 Varsity Jazz. For cheer, it was the Sonoran Desert Classic. Show Cheer won 1st Grand Champs and was named America’s Cup Finalists, Gameday won 1st Grand Champs, and Five man Stunt won 1st Grand Champs.

“Our team has never been stronger and we kept the same energy this entire season which really paid off by the time State came around,” said Kimball.

Three weeks later, it was finally time for State, where both teams were competing two routines. Cheer would be doing Show Cheer and Five Man Stunt, pom would be doing Jazz and Pom. For the first time in school history, both pom and cheer walked away State Champions.

For cheer, it was Show Cheer, for pom, it was Jazz. In addition to these championships, cheers Five man Stunt became State Runners Up, and poms Pom routine placed 6th. This is Show Cheers 3rd State Championship, Perry cheers 5th ever State Championship, and the 2nd State Championship for cheer during this 2021-22 season, as they won Gameday State earlier in the year. As for pom, this was the first ever State Championship they won, making school history yet again.

“These girls work so much harder than you can even imagine,” said Varsity Pom head coach Tenneal Howard. “And seeing all that hard work paid off was amazing, and emotional…8 of the 13 girls are seniors who were a part of last year’s team, and throughout the entire season they said this would be our ‘comeback season’. And they were right.”

Pom and cheer saw success at nearly every competition they attended this year. And when the pressure was put on for the final time, they saw it again. Making school history individually and together, as the Perry Pom and Cheer programs are officially 2021-22 State Champions.