Cheer squad wins KHSAA State Championship


Morgan Daniels

The Rebel small varsity squad emerges for their routine at the KHSAA Region 5 Championship at Boone County High School on Nov. 23.

Robert Butler

The Rebels Small Varsity Cheer team won the KHSAA State Championship, Dec. 14, at All Tech Arena in Lexington, Ky.

The Rebels posted a final score of 96.1 and beat second place Pikeville by more than six points.

This win highlights the Rebels dominant run so far this season. Before winning state, they had already won two regional tournaments and a state-wide tournament.

Head coach Michelle Schuster says that there is a lot of pressure being reigning national champs after winning UCA Nationals last year in Orlando. She hopes that after their state championship they can place top three at nationals later this season.

“I am proud of how this team has handled the pressure.  They continue to be humble and persevere,” Schuster said.

Seniors Ashtyn Fangman, Lanie Fangman, and Madi Monroe all recognize the pressure that comes with winning the national championship, but they say that their team possesses a unique drive and work ethic that allows them to outperform their opponents.

“The best part of being a part of the varsity team this year is that we have a team that is willing to do anything to succeed,” Lanie Fangman said. “I’ve never seen a team have as much determination and drive as this one.”

“At competitions, we all know that the person standing to the left and right to us are going to be able to do their job in our routine. We have a focused, driven mentality,” she said.

That was one thing Monroe could get behind when describing the team’s success this season.

“No one on the team wants it more than the next. All 12 of us give it our all every time our music turns on,” Monroe said.

Ashtyn Fangman said the amount of talent on this team is “crazy,” and that this team has the most talent out of any team she’s ever been on.

“We all breathe cheerleading, and we are all so dedicated to be the best at what we can do,” Ashtyn Fangman said. “The skill we have is one thing, but the drive and dedication we have is rare to find in a lot of teams, and I think that’s why we have been successful so far.”

This is the first time a team sport at Boone has won at state since the 1979 wrestling team.

The cheerleaders also mentioned that their bond with their teammates has also been a big part of their historic run. After years of cheering together, they’ve grown closer and closer to each other.

I thought after last year I would never be as close to a team I was, but I was wrong,” Monroe said. “These girls are my best friends. They all have the same drive which makes cheering four days a week worth it.”

Ashtyn Fangman said that every person on the team cares about each other and they treat each other like family.

“We’ve been dreaming of having a team like this together since 6th grade,” Ashtyn Fangman said. “I’ve grown so close to these girls and growing the Boone legacy with them has been a dream like no other.”

The Rebels haven’t lost a competition since last season, and with a young group of talented underclassmen, they are set for continued success. The junior varsity team won their division at two different tournaments this season before getting ninth at state in the coed division.

That depth and senior leadership means the Rebels could make even more history down in Orlando later this season.

“We all work so hard and we don’t make excuses for anything,” Ashtyn Fangman said. “We want to go back-to-back together and we are willing to go the extra mile to do it.”