By Justin Scrimshire
ONL Sports Reporter
The work began in June. When other kids were enjoying summer break, the OHS cheerleaders were attending camps and holding practices four days a week.
Formations, spacing, jumps, flips and choreography all rehearsed over and over and over again.
The hours grinding into days, weeks, and then months, leading to a moment where everything must be perfect for two minutes.
But for the Okemah High School competitive cheerleading squad, all that work paid off as they earned their second consecutive Class 2-A State-Runner Up championship.
The goal was to be better than last year and that mission was accomplished. During the 2022 state championship, OHS had an overall score of 232 points.
This year with a tougher routine, the girls scored 244.8 points overall, an agonizing 3.2 points short of first place, held by Cashion with a score of 248.
Crescent, the 2022 state champion finished third overall this year with a score of 240.4.
Coach Sage Richel acknowledged the result was “heartbreaking because of how close we were,” but praised her girls for their effort.
“I couldn’t have asked for them to perform a better routine,” said Richel. “They did exactly what we came to do, they always make me proud and now we’re more eager to come back and crush it in November at our next competition.”