PERU – History will be made on Jan. 31 as Peru State will attend its first competitive cheer competition. On that date, the team will be traveling to Olathe, Kan., to compete in the MidAmerica Nazarene Invitational.
Last year the college made the decision to add cheer as a competitive team, along with four junior varsity programs. Head Coach Brooke Earnest, along with Student Assistant Elly Lempka, increased their overall squad size to 28. Over the course of the fall, the coaches conducted practices and/or tryouts before determining the 18 who will form Peru State’s first competitive squad.
Student-athletes who will be representing the ‘Cats on the first-ever competition team include junior Destiny Maguire of Greenwood.
The Bobcats will compete in two additional invitational in consecutive days following their opening competition. They will participate in the Baker Invitational in Baldwin City, Kansas, on Feb. 1 and then travel to Atchison, Kan., to take part in the Benedictine Invite on Feb. 2.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship will be hosted by MidAmerica Nazarene in Olathe, Kan., on Feb. 15.
Peru State may participate in a couple of duals, but those are yet to be officially scheduled.
Earnest said she is excited and nervous as well for the upcoming first year of competition.
“Being a former cheerleader myself, I always wondered what it would be like to be on a competitive collegiate team. When the college officially declared us as a varsity team, I was thrilled and ready for the challenge,” she said.
Earnest added: “The 18 young women presently on the competitive squad have been practicing very hard at all hours of the day and the weekends. They are excited to be part of Peru State history as members of its first-ever competitive team.”
Additional cheerleading team members include freshman Rebecca Wilson of Ashland.