The Carlisle Bison cheerleaders continue to show they are a mainstay in the state competition each year.
Carlisle finished as state runner-up in the Class 1A-2A competition Saturday at Summit Arena in Hot Springs. Junction City won the state championship.
For Carlisle, it’s the second runner-up spot in a row after winning the state championship in 2010 and finishing third in 2011.
Junction City beat Carlisle by five points. Other teams Class 1A/2A teams competing were Buffalo Island Central, Rector, Salem, Western Yell County and Caddo Hills.
“Even though the weather was nasty and predicted to be rough, great crowds showed and supported all schools involved,” Carlisle coach Lindsey Thaxton said. “But Carlisle fans are the best and thanks to all who came and supported your Carlisle Bison Cheerleaders.”
Team members include Katlyn Stock, Presley Carter, Bailey Amaden, Sloane Henderson, Emily Berg-Ricks, Ashby Terry, Hannah Beth Moody, Peyton Hitchings, Natalie Oliger, Rachel Waterman, Skylar Gosney, Rachel Jones, Abby Palsa, Megan Tustison and Blayke Huggs.
Thaxton said she was proud of her team.
“They went to the mat and represented Carlisle very well,” he said. “We are always a team that is fierce at competitions and everyone knows and expects us to perform well and be a big competition. That is always what we do.”
Several of the athletes on the squad were injured and could not compete.
“These girls had a couple of obstacles to overcome this competition year and with drive, dedication and determination and the help from a few ninth-grade cheerleaders, these obstacles were overcome and my girls persevered to come out on top,” Thaxton said. “We might have brought home the gold trophy but we brought home the silver the other five teams went home empty handed.”
Thaxton said her team has been working hard since August.
“All the heartaches and time paid off,” she said. “I can honestly say that these girls made Carlisle proud to be Bison and made me proud of a coach to call them my team.
“Two minutes and 30 seconds may not seem like a long time or a big deal for some but for a cheerleader, that is the longest, most adrenaline-pumping, heart-racing, gut-wrenching, nervous feeling and emotional roller coaster that a cheerleader can experience,” Thaxton added. “And Carlisle cheerleaders use that to their advantage and pour out a performance that is always top-notch.”