When her teammates quit two weeks prior to the state championships, high school cheerleader Katrina Kohel refused to back down from a challenge.
Morrill High School in tiny Morrill, Nebraska, is home to the Morrill Lion cheer squad, which previously consisted of a full squad. Kohel, who is a senior at the school, was the only member of the cheerleading team who participated in the state championships after three of the girls left the group for personal reasons. Despite her coach initially believing that their school would not be represented at the competition, the senior was determined to perform at the events regardless of if her teammates refused.
“I want to go to state, and I will cheer by myself,” she told her coach, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Considering the competition was comprised of over 2,700 girls and 225 teams, this proclamation meant she had big shoes to fill. However, with the help of her coach, she designed a routine and was set to perform in the Game Day Class D division on February 17.
Although the prospect of performing alone in a sea of teams was nerve-racking, Kohel said a positive attitude allowed her to perform with ease. “They are going to support me and cheer me on,” she said, speaking of her thought process during her routine. “Even if I mess this whole thing up, I will be OK. I’m doing this by myself and no matter what, it’s going to be OK.”
MHS Lions cheer on star athlete Katrina Kohel
And with this reinforcement in her mentality it reflected in the crowd. With her team in the audience, she was confident she could pull off her routine. Following her performance, Kohel relayed, “I probably had the loudest crowd involvement there…Everybody was cheering with me, and it was an amazing feeling.”
Additionally, her high school cheerleading team celebrated her participation in the state championship and specifically applauded her dedication to her performance.
“She did it! What an amazing routine!” the squad wrote on a Facebook page. “Thank you to each one of our cheer friends, family, and fans far and near who packed the stands and cheered with Katrina! The crowd was booming with callbacks on her chants and cheers! Her jumps were soaring through the air, and her school spirit was contagious.”
Still speaking of Kohel, the Morrill Lions concluded with the sentiments, “Everyone is so proud of you. You represented the MHS Lions with pride.”
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