Troup cheerleaders keep winning
Published 12:31 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The names on the roster change, but the lofty expectations of the Troup High cheerleading team remains the same.
Troup has been one of the state’s top programs for several years, earning numerous championships while regularly placing at the state competition.
So far, this team has been doing its part to carry on that winning tradition.
During the regular season, Troup participated in six competitions, and it finished first three times while placing second twice and third once.
At last week’s Region 5-AAAA competition, Troup was fourth, but it delivered a stellar routine.
It’s a region that includes some of the state’s top teams, including defending state-champion Cartersville.
“They are not surprised by anything, and they don’t back down from anything,” said Troup head coach Amelia Key. “They’ve won several competitions, and they’ve placed at every one of them which is a big deal. To place at six out of six competitions is a huge deal.”
Troup is hoping to keep the good times rolling this weekend.
Troup will compete in the Class AAAA state sectional on Friday at the Columbus Civic Center, and if it finishes eighth or higher it will advance to the 16-team state finals on Saturday.
The top six finishers in the state finals will place and return home with medals.
It’s a Troup team that, despite its inexperience, no doubt has what it takes to compete with the state’s best.
“They’re very young. There are six freshmen out here,” Key said. “They have stepped up and been competitive at a level that most people didn’t think they would be.”
While nearly half of the team members are freshmen, there are a pair of seniors in Isabella Moncus and Katie Wingate who provide a voice of experience.
Moncus remembers what it was like to be the new member of the team, and she has tried to be there for her younger teammates.
“When I was a freshman, I just remember looking up to the seniors and whatever they’d do, I’d try to do that, too,” Moncus said. “So I just wanted to be a good role model for the freshmen coming up this year, and all the underclassmen as well.”
Added Wingate: “I just try to bond with them as much as I can.”
Clearly, considering they’ve won nearly half of their competitions, whatever the Tigers have been doing this season has been working.
While every team is different, Key believes the success the program has enjoyed in previous years helps motivate the current members of the team.
“Part of our success is because of the previous cheerleaders and their record and the expectation that’s there,” Key said. “The expectation is to exceed or to meet that every year. They put a lot of pressure on themselves to be that good and are very disappointed if they don’t perform at that level.”
The Tigers won their first competition of the season, and as satisfying as that was, the team has continued to strive to get better, to hone a challenging routine.
Moncus believes the Tigers are a much better team now than they were at the start of the season.
“We’ve definitely improved,” she said. “If you go back and watch videos from our first competition to now, there has been so much improvement.”
Moncus believes the close-knit nature of the team has contributed to the success.
“You can tell when a team goes out if they’re a team at heart or not, and we definitely are,” Moncus said. “This year we’re really close.”
Troup will perform once again on Friday, and the stakes couldn’t be any higher.
If the Tigers deliver their usual excellent routine, they’ll make it to Saturday and have a chance to place at state once again.
“I’m very excited, and I’m very nervous and just hopeful that we’ll do good and just pull through,” Wingate said.
Wingate and Moncus have helped Troup place at state before, and obviously the goal is to make that happen once again.
“That’s our goal, to get down to the mat (for the medal ceremony),” Wingate said.
Whatever happens, it’s been a fun ride for the seniors, even if there have been some bumps in the road.
Moncus’ journey, in fact, has been a painful one at times.
During her freshman season Moncus broke an ankle that forced her to miss a bunch of competitions.
Being a part of the Troup cheerleading family has meant the world to Moncus, though, and she’s grateful for the experience.
“It’s been so much fun and a lot of stress, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Moncus said.
With so many talented team members returning, and with some gifted cheerleaders from Long Cane Middle School set to make the transition to high school, the future is bright for the program.
“Our hope is that when we’re gone they’ll just continue to get better and better,” Moncus said.