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PCHS cheerleaders perform today at state competition

  • The Pinckneyville Community High School cheerleaders practice at Pinckneyville District 204 on Wednesday. The squad performs at noon today in the preliminary round of the IHSA state competition.

    The Pinckneyville Community High School cheerleaders practice at Pinckneyville District 204 on Wednesday. The squad performs at noon today in the preliminary round of the IHSA state competition.
    Pete Spitler/Du Quoin Call

 
 
updated: 2/2/2018 9:58 AM

EDITOR'S NOTE: See the full interview with PCHS senior Dakotah Hubler on the Du Quoin Evening Call's Facebook page.

For the second time in three years and fourth in the past five, the Pinckneyville Community High School cheerleaders will perform at the IHSA state competition.

The Panthers, who finished second in state in 2007 under coach Neva Corn, will perform at noon today in the small school division. The competition will be streamed live on on the NFHS Network at www.nfhsnetwork.com/tournament/illinois-winter-championships.

A $9.95 fee is assessed for the service.

"We've got some of the best teams in the state competing," said Pinckneyville coach Natasha Plumlee. "There's 25 teams and you have to make top 10 to advance. So for them to do that, they're going to have to hit all their stunts, be super tight and super clean and we talked about that."

Also performing at state is Anna-Jonesboro (11:20 a.m.) and Carterville (12:40 p.m.). Defending small school state champion Breese Central, which won Pinckneyville's division of the Waterloo Sectional last Saturday, performs at 9:55 a.m.

"Breese Central won the whole state championship last year and I think they're one of the best teams there," said PCHS senior Dakotah Hubler, who wasn't able to perform during the squad's previous trip in 2016 due to an injury. "I think we definitely participated in one of the stronger sectionals and we definitely saw what the real competition is."

Hubler is one of three seniors on the Panthers, who also include Emily Shanklin, Hannah Porter, Lexi Loos, Connie Moll, Katelyn Kling, Miranda Skorch, Lauren Jackson, Lilli Runyon, Kelsey Bailey, Dakota Krone, Chloe Yates, Gayle Winter, Tristyn Morgenstern, Jade Riley and Lauren Downard.

"We have three seniors, three juniors, five sophomores and one freshman competing," Plumlee said. "Some of the girls are a little bit younger, so they haven't had this experience (of the state competition).

"They're prepared, but they haven't had the experience."

With an even split of six upperclassmen and six underclassmen, Plumlee was asked if that is something she can build on in the years to come.

"A lot of these girls have been participating in competitions since they were in fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth grade, so they do have competition experience," she said. "The more of that they have, the better they are when they get to the next level."

Plumlee said the Panthers will perform a routine today that lasts 2 minutes and 30 seconds. If they advance to Saturday's finals, they will perform the same routine.

"We've been practicing this routine for awhile," she said. "The skills for the routine we've been practicing since summer.

"I love watching them perform this routine. Certain words really get to me sometimes and one of their lines in the routine is 'the team you admire' and they are the team I admire."