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Patriots win ninth straight state championship

For the ninth year in a row the Pike Liberal Arts cheerleaders have a reason to celebrate. The AISA announced virtually that both the varsity and junior varsity cheer squads were named state champions.

“We are really excited,” head coach Katie Scott said. “There was a different feel to this one because it wasn’t in person. It was different to prepare for and different for the kids to get ready for and to get excited about.”

Normally held in the summer during cheer camp at either Huntingdon College or Troy University, this year’s competition was virtual and in November. The Patriots learned all the material in July and later hoped to compete in November 7 at a venue that was secured by the AISA. After that venue wasn’t able to hold the competition, squads were forced to compete virtually.

“We had to tape our various routines and send them in,” Scott said. “We played the waiting game for about a week and half. We waited to see how it went. Usually the waiting game lasts for about 45 minutes, so that was really different.”

Each squad had to perform two different routines, the rally routine and the game day routine. Normally performing in front of packed stadiums and gymnasiums, the Patriots were forced to compete without fans in attendance.

“We greatly missed out crowd,” Scott said. “The kids picked themselves up and did what they had to do and did the best they could with it. We had some leftover cardboard cutouts of various senior athletes and decorations of homecoming pasts. Pretty sure Glenda, the wicked witch, Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the lion made an appearance just to give the kids something to look at in the stands, help them pretend someone was there.”

Scott is in her second tenure coaching the Patriots. After coaching the Patriots in the early 2000s, Scott is now coaching alongside two of her former cheerleaders, Hanna Hixon Jordan and Brittany Royal. The three coaches coach both squads together and are excited to be able to keep the winning tradition alive at Pike.

“We made a good run back in the early 2000s and then it was continued on by others,” Scott said. “We picked up the reigns again a few years back.”

The Patriots had two members make the All-Star squad this year in Addi Garrott and Reagan Brown.

“They 100 percent have put in the time and effort and deserve every effort you can give them,” Scott said.

Putting in the time and effort is something that has helped the Patriots win another state championship.

“I have cheerleader parents tell me a lot ‘We know you work hard. We know you put the time in. We had no idea how hard you work and for how long you work,” Scott said. “I had several cheerleader parents this year tell me ‘I didn’t realize you guys did as much as you did.”

Both squads will compete on Saturday at the UCA Regional Competition at the BJCC in Birmingham where they hope to qualify for nationals. If they qualify they will head to Orlando in February.