by Brian Turrel
The Piper and Bonner Springs cheerleading squads participated in KSHSAA GameDay, the state championship for competitive cheerleading, which was held in the Stormont-Vail Event Center in Topeka on Saturday evening. The Pirates’ cheerleaders brought home the third place trophy in Class 5A.
Teams competed in three preliminary rounds — a band chant, a crowd-leading cheer, and their school’s fight song. The top six teams after the preliminaries then performed a long-form final routine that also included a cheer for a specific football scenario assigned by the judges.
Piper qualified for the finals, but Bonner Springs was eliminated after the preliminaries.
In the final round, Piper narrowly edged out St. James Academy by less than half a point for third place. The squad from St. Thomas Aquinas High School won the 5A competition, followed by Blue Valley Southwest.
After the awards ceremony, Piper head coach Morgan Kolenda praised the skill and effort of her team.
“They’ve put in a lot of hard work this entire season,” said the coach.
“We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of basketball left. They’re an amazing group of girls — talented beyond measure — and I’m just excited to see where we can go next.”
The Piper Pearls, Piper’s dance team, performed in the dance competition held Friday, winning fifth place in Class 5A.