Howell varsity pompon held to high standards

rsz_img_3109By Sports Editor: Danielle Hamilton

One sports team who has created an outstanding name for themselves is the Howell varsity pompon team. Over the past few years, this group of ladies has been champions of many competitions. This year, they are looking to continue the winning tradition, first by coming out on top at the High Kick competition.

Last year, the varsity pompon team had 21 girls and graduated five seniors. They won the High Kick competition which was held at Saginaw Valley State University in November. They competed in the medium division, which depends on the number of people on the team. Varsity pompon also walked away with the highest score of the day out of all of the teams in each division.

At regionals, Howell qualified for the highest division for the state competition. At states, they were awarded State Champions Runner-Up behind their rivals, Garden City.

The team consists of 20 girls this year. Their captains are senior Shannon Southerland, junior Ally Hawkins, and junior Michaela Sheridan.

“Our team is composed of many underclassmen, but we all have the drive and commitment to be as successful as we want to be,” says sophomore Kaylee Hamilton. This is Hamilton’s second year on the squad.

Varsity pompon practices around three hours each day of the week, as well as three hours on Saturday mornings. During the summer, they practiced three to four days a week and attended a summer camp at Northwood University.

“For ten months out of the year, we dedicate our lives to three performances which are only three minutes each. Coming off of a strong year, all we can do is strive to do better and continue to build our program,” says senior Sarilya Barbaro, who is in her third year on varsity pompon.

At halftime of varsity home football games, the team performs a routine. This is a good way for students to see what they can do, considering the fact that pompom only has competitions which are not usually close to Howell. This also prepares the team for competitions and serves as a practice. Once winter comes, they will also be performing at the varsity boys’ home basketball games. Pompon performs at pep assemblies at the high school as well.

The first competition of the year is the High Kick competition. This will take place on November 3, at Saginaw Valley State University. After a lot of hard work and dedication, the team is prepared to take the championship, as they are expected to do.

In January, the regionals competition will occur. If the team scores high enough, they will qualify for states. The state competition will happen in February, where Howell will be hoping to make a comeback and come out on top.

“I have really high hopes for the team this year. We have a really dedicated and powerful group of girls, so there isn’t anything really holding us back from reaching the goals we set,” says Sheridan.