They say practice makes perfect, and in order to reach that success, you do it over, and over again. The Sioux Valley High School competitive cheer team is no stranger to this routine.
This doesn’t apply just when they’re competing on the floor, but since the beginning of their program in 2007.
“It’s been a sanction sport in South Dakota for 11 years and we have won 11 times,” said Head Competitive Cheer Coach Casie King.
“From the moment it started, we took it seriously, we took it as a sport. They come on the team knowing that they have to do their job, there is no excuses,” King adds.
This is a message that resonates far beyond competition.
“I love coming to practice everyday and all my best friends are out there. Being with them everyday and doing what we love together, is the best thing ever,” says senior Beylee Bezdichek.
Twenty-eight girls make up the Sioux Valley Competitive Cheer team, a larger number for Class A. King states that they work on having a “no cut policy” each season after tryouts.
“For the most part if we can rotate in different athletes... our philosophy with that is if you work hard you can become a state champion. We like to take people that have never done cheerleading before, that’s a challenge for us but let’s see what we can teach you,” said King.
Sioux Valley looks to earn their thirteenth straight Class A state title this week, but the hardware isn’t their focus.
“We just want to go out and do our best, and I know that sounds cheesy but that’s what it really is. Especially in a sport that can be somewhat subjective, you have to just go out and do the best you can do and just be happy with yourself when you walk off the mat,” said King.
The message is to continue building the legacy It’s a simple phrase that the seniors chose for this season.
“Every year we get new girls coming up that are just as talented as the ones that we lose. We lose a lot of talent, but we gain so much,” said Bezdichek.
The program credits it’s storied success to the leadership that Coach King brings back each year.
“She’s always trying to make us better people, not just better athletes. Which I think is why our girls are just amazing people all around,” said Bezdichek.
“Truly the fact that for 17 years now I’ve had relationships with kids that I’ve watched them become moms and have families. I feel like when I coach kids, I want them for life,” said King.
The Class A Competitive Cheer Competition begins Friday afternoon at Brandon Valley High School.