New Palestine cheer team finishes third in state


New Palestine cheerleaders perform their routine during Saturday’s state finals at New Castle Fieldhouse.

Submitted photo

They were champions in other events earlier in the season, but there were no guarantees as they were waiting for their school to be announced among the state’s best.

At Saturday’s Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) 2023 Indiana Cheer Championship State Finals at New Castle High School, New Palestine High School’s cheer team was happy with how they performed in their allotted time, but was it good enough to earn a state medal?

The top three in each division — New Palestine was among 11 schools in the Varsity B division — are medalist.

New Palestine coach Madonna McGovern and her 19-member squad got the news they wanted to hear.

“It was definitely an amazing experience to hear our school being called in the top three,” McGovern,who has been with the school’s cheer program for nine years, said. “We had confidence going in because of how well our season has gone. But, anything can happen in the two minutes, 30 seconds we have to perform. It’s never certain.

“I know the girls were really excited to be in the top three. I don’t know the full history of how we’ve placed in the past, but it has been a while since we’ve placed in the top three, if ever.”

New Palestine won the Eastern Hancock Invitational and Hoosier Heritage Conference championships earlier in the year. It was just the second time the school had won the HHC title. McGovern said the routine performed Saturday was similar to previous competitions, just tweaked by judges’ feedback along the way.

“We had a fall and we had a touch down in tumbling,” McGovern said. “We also saw where other teams also had falls, or bobbles or touches in tumbling. It was really going to be neck-and-neck, but we felt pretty good going in we could place high.”

McGovern said a lot of her team’s stunts were considered in the elite (highest) category.

“Knowing we have the difficulty in our routine, we knew that upped our chances, if performed well, it would score high,” she said.

The 19-member NPHS team includes, Blakelie Brubeck, Kenzie Compton, Sydney DeLois, Olivia Frank, Lexi Hall, Alyssia Hatcher, Macey Henderson, Addison Hurst, Kalle Jones, Journy McDaniel, Ryleigh Mills, Cara Payton, Halle Ringham, Maliah Ringham, Eleanor Shanahan, Lynzie Stiller, Rylee Stone, Kyleigh Watkins, and Finleigh White.

Saturday’s championships, featured 30 HS Time-Out teams and 32 Varsity cheerleading teams from around the state that reached the State Finals after scoring in the top 60 percent of the Preliminary contest.

Mt. Vernon and Greenfield-Central were also among the Varsity B competitors. Eastern Hancock, state champions last season, competed in Varsity D.

Varsity B was won by Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger. Pendleton Heights was second.

Other winners included, Fort Wayne Carroll (Varsity A), Charlestown (Varsity C), New Washington (Varsity D), Lake Central (Varsity Coed), NorthWood (High School Time-Out Small) and North Central (High School Time-Out Large).