Twenty-one Republic cheerleaders competed at state in St. Charles over the weekend. (Photo courtesy Samantha Foshe)

Cheer Squad’s State Season Full of Lessons for the Future

Republic’s cheer squad wrapped up its state competition with a fifth-place finish in their division at Lindenwood University in St. Charles. Republic competed in the Super-Large Division, which includes schools of all sizes.

While the team’s final placement wasn’t as high as first-year coach Samantha Foshe would have liked, she said this competition season was a learning experience for both her and her squad.

“Unfortunately we had a few minor issues in our performance that resulted in our 5th place finish,” she said. “This was Republic’s first time competing in the super-large division, and I think competing in such a competitive division helped our program focus in on the little things we can change for next year to place higher. Our team is always outstanding, but we can always improve.”

The competition season had been a challenge because of injuries, but Foshe said she’s proud of her team’s perseverance.

“Making it to state showed them that working together and pushing yourself can help you achieve your goals,” she said.

Foshe said four years after being part of Republic’s state-championship cheer squad in 2015, she gained a new appreciation over the last several months of how much goes into the coaching process. She credits assistant coach Kenya Ackfeld for helping make the season a success.

“I never realized how much behind-the-scenes work was put in,” she said. “Another thing I learned was how much 21 girls can fill your heart in a matter of six months. The girls have taught me more than I think I’ve taught them.

“We focused a lot on team glory this year rather than individual glory, as we are a team sport. The team can’t win without everyone doing their part to make it happen.”

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