A Thousand Words: Feb. 21, 2012

Madison Central High School varsity cheerleader Lauren Abrams (left) celebrates with junior varsity cheerleader Emi Deck (right) after the varsity team completed their routine at the 2012 KAPOS State-At-Large Cheerleading Competition Saturday at Diddle. Madison Central won second place in the small varsity division of the competition. “I think we did amazing. Couldn’t do better,” Abrams said about her team’s performance.

Elizabeth Frantz

Diddle Arena was a sea of colorful uniforms, matching hair ribbons, pompoms, smiling faces and plenty of pep on Saturday.  Behind the hundreds of happy faces, however, there was a serious competition going on and Madison Central High School’s cheerleading team wanted to win.

Madison Central was one of more than 80 teams participating in the 2012 KAPOS State-At-Large Cheerleading Competition which lasted all day Saturday. Sixteen regions represented Kentucky cheerleading in seven separate divisions.

The team, which represents Kentucky’s Region 11, had just returned from the 2012 UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Fla., where they received fourth place in the Small Varsity Division I competition.

The team was dressed in bright red uniforms with big white hair bows. With pompoms and signs in hand, the girls ran onto the stage to perform their routine for the judges.

They nailed it.

There was nothing but smiles and cheers as the team exited the stage. The junior varsity team was there waiting to congratulate them. Their filled cups of water were ignored as the girls waited turns to hug each other in celebration.

Junior varsity cheerleader Lauren Abrams of Richmond was one of the girls receiving hugs.

“I think we did amazing,” she said. “Couldn’t do better.”

Head varsity coach Karen Feldhaus was there to celebrate with the team. She has been a cheerleading coach at Madison Central for 19 years.

“Any time you hit your routine, you feel good about it,” Feldhaus said.

At the end of judging, all competing teams are invited back onto the floor for the awards ceremony. Madison Central, both varsity and junior varsity teams, sat together in one large oval. Like one big family of sisters, the girls all held hands.

Madison Central was awarded second place. With a mix of happiness and disappointment on their faces, the varsity team rose to accept the trophy. They had come to win first place.

“It was just a really tight competition today,” Feldhaus said. “And we knew it was going to be. That’s Kentucky cheerleading, so that’s part of it. That’s what makes it exciting.”

Madison was edged out of first place by Perry County Central by only 0.7 of a point. But there’s always next year.

“I have an extremely young program, so I’m just really, really excited today,” Feldhaus said.

“We’ll get there.”