CCHS Cheer Team Performs at the First Ever CMAC Cheer Competition

A new competition for a new(ish) team


Sophia Bruce

The Capital City High School Cheer Team recently performed at the first ever CMAC Cheer Competition. The CMAC, or Central Missouri Activities Conference included 7 teams, ranging from all over mid-Missouri. Some of the teams the CCHS Cheerleaders competed against included: Helias Catholic, Rock Bridge, the Jefferson City Jays, Hickman, Battle, and Smith-Cotton. Each team prepared a routine to a cut of music with stunts, jumps, tumbling, and a dance all in one. In addition to preparing a routine, each team also had to compete a school cheer before running their routines. The CCHS Cheer Team gave their routine everything they had; the girls would have practice everyday after school, weekend practices, and would work on the routine outside of practice and school.

Alongside dealing with the nerves of preforming a perfect routine, hitting all your stunts and jumps, 5 girls from each team were nominated to compete in an All Conference Tryout, which ultimately picked the top 15 cheerleaders from the state to represent. The girls nominated from the CCHS Cheer Team, included Emma Bonine, Dom Wehmeyer, Sydney Kessel, Alahna Leavell, and Sophia Bruce. The girls performed a specific cheer that was provided separate from their school cheer, jumps, and tumbling if they had any. Judges for the All-Conference tryout were coaches from various other teams that weren’t competing, and were looking for the best of the best from the state. Three girls from the CCHS Cheer Team made All-Conference! Congratulations to Dom, Emma, and Sydney!

As the season ends, the girls reflect on how challenging it was to cheer during the ongoing Pandemic, growing in their bond as a team and family, and what it was like at their first ever cheer competition!

Q: How has your first year of cheer on the CCHS Cheer Team? 

Cally Coatney (Freshman): My first year was tough, but I loved it so much. The CCHS Cheer team was different from last year when I did cheer at TJ because it was a lot more strict and tough in the best way possible. I was pushed hard to improve and I feel as though I have made a lot of improvement in all of my cheerleading skills, although TJ was a great starting point for the start of my love for cheer.

Dom Wehmeyer (Junior): It was amazing. The team was just like a family, it was so welcoming. It was a great experience and I’ve never had a team like the cheer team. Coach Collins is awesome, she is always pushing me to be my best even when I’m not in the best mood.

Trinity Blanche (Junior): It was a really positive environment, and it’s a lot different from other cheer teams because everyone is just so close like a family and everyone is always so positive, and even when you mess up the girls still encourage you and push you to do better.

Cora Howell (Junior): It was really fun, I’ve had so many amazing memories with everyone on the team. It was kind of similar to my other years of cheer as well.


Q: What was your favorite part of the cheer season and why? 

Cora Howell (Junior): My favorite part of the season was competition, because we all came together and made a huge routine come to life, and I think it was such a good team bonder for all of the girls that got to experience it.

Sydney Kessel (Sophomore): I really enjoyed the bond that all the girls were able to make this year. We all got along very well and had a bunch of great times together. Although, because of Covid we couldn’t always be together because of someone being quarantined and such but the time we all had together were great! I also enjoyed Sophia’s dancing at practice. 🙂

Livi Manner (Junior): My favorite part of the cheer season was competition season because we spent so much time together and we got to watch out routine gradually come together, which was so much fun.

Alahna Leavell (Sophomore): My favorite part of the cheer season was the bond we all shared. It seems like when the team is smaller our bond is stronger, but the encouragement through the year was continuous despite our size. Loosing a few teammates was difficult, but all of us have loved each other and everyone who steps into the program is loved and cherished as an athlete.

Trinity Blanche (Junior): My favorite part of the cheer season was football season and competition season. During football season we got to go to a few away games which were always super fun for the team because we bonded so much on the bus on the way to and from the games. Competition season was super fun too, because we spent so much time with each other each day and it was really like a family.


Q: What was it like trying out for All Conference? Were you intimidated, scared, excited?

Emma Bonine (Sophomore): I felt all sorts of emotions, I was super nervous, intimidated, and scared because we did the tryout in front of our parents along with the judges. Honestly, I kind of blanked out while I was there and if felt really good to get the tryout over with.

Alahna Leavell (Sophomore): It was super scary. Personally, I don’t like standing up in front of bunches of people. and it was super intimidating. I think I could have done better, but there was just so many nerves going on, especially since it was directly after performing our group routine.

Sydney Kessel (Sophomore): It was kind of intimidating considering our team was the last team to try out. Seeing how some of the other individuals were doing was super intimidating because I felt as though I also needed to meet those expectations. I was still pretty nervous when I got on the mat to start the tryout, but I somewhat blanked out and just knew what I was doing and forgot about everyone else. Afterwards I wasn’t nervous anymore because I felt that I did the best that I could and that was the only expectation I wanted to meet.


Q: How do you think the cheer team performed at the competition? Are you proud of how hard your team worked over the 2 weeks leading up to the competition?

Dom Wehmeyer (Junior): We did amazing, and I’m so happy with how we performed. Even though we didn’t get the place we wanted we worked together as a team. We worked so hard over the entire season as a whole, and kept great attitudes despite ongoing challenges we faced.

Kelsey Drinkard (Junior): I think even though we were all pretty nervous before we preformed we still gave it our all and had a really fun time doing the competition. I think we worked incredibly hard for the competition and even though we didn’t get the result we wanted, the experience and memories that came out of it were amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Sydney Kessel (Sophomore): I think the team did great, I’m so proud of how much time everybody dedicated to cheer these past few weeks, we’ve had practices almost everyday which was new for our team. Even when the girls that had other spring activities like track were able to make the time to cheer and work on our routine and it was great. I think that everyone on the team really tried their best and performed as well as they could. Additionally, I think we overcame so many emotions as a team though these really stressful few weeks. I think it was a great experience not just for me, but the entire team to get a feel of a competition without it being really difficultly judged.

Cora Howell (Junior): I think we did really good at the competition, all of our motions were super tight and all of our stunts hit, which is super exciting. We even hit our full down, which was a stunt that was challenging for us during practices, but we got out there and killed it.

Trinity Blanche (Junior): I think we did really good at the competition! Considering that this was our first ever competition for the CCHS cheer team, I think we did great. I think we weren’t that intimidated by other teams and we held our own and gave it our all.


Q: The very loved assistant Coach, Casey Burgess, has decided to take a step down from the cheer program due to her career and personal life. What was one of your favorite memories you shared with Coach Burgess, and what have you learned from her coaching? 

Livi Manner (Junior): One of my favorite memories with Coach Burgess had to be last year after the Christmas Parade, when the team followed her around looking for a bathroom downtown and we were like ducklings with their mother duck. One thing I learned from Coach Burgess was ultimate kindness and compassion for my teammates. She showed so much emotion towards us when she made her last speech at the banquet and it really touched me. I’ll never forget it.

Alahna Leavell (Sophomore): One of my favorite memories with Coach Burgess was my tumbling journey, she was always there for me and always had something wise to say, she’s so encouraging and her advice is so helpful in tumbling, cheer, and life in general.

Kelsey Drinkard (Junior): My favorite memory with Coach Burgess is anytime that we would go to tumbling with her. She would encourage us to try our best and helped us be more confident in throwing skills that we were scared to do. I learned from her coaching, the strength to push through every problem I face and to give everything my all no matter how much I think I can’t.

Cally Coatney (Freshman): My favorite memory I shared with Coach Burgess is when we all played a blanket team bonding game, when we all had to stand on a blanket and try to not fall off while turning it over on itself. She would stand there with her head in her hands wondering what she would ever do with us, and it made us laugh so hard. I have learned from her that if you keep trying at a skill, you will always be able to achieve what you put your mind to. She also taught me to be a positive role model to those around me.


Q: What have you learned from your head coach of the program, Coach Collins? 

Dom Wehmeyer (Junior): She has taught me to keep pushing and always be a great person and to do my best. She’s taught me to never give up, even when I’m angry and upset.

Kesley Drinkard (Junior): Coach Collins taught me that we are all stronger together as a team, as well as how to be a good team leader for others when they need help with anything.

Livi Manner (Junior): Amazon is where you should shop for anything and everything. Haha, I’ve learned so much from Coach Collins on a serious note. She’s the most influential role model I’ve had in my life. She’s taught me the majority of my cheer skills I have and she’s played a huge part in my growth as a person and I couldn’t thank her enough for putting as much time and effort into the program as she does.

Emma Bonine (Sophomore): She’s the kind of person that pushes you to be the best and do your best, and to always give 110% effort at all times.


The Cheer Team wouldn’t be complete without each of its coaches; Coach Collins and Coach Burgess, but also its’ girls, who love the program and their team. The CCHS Cheer Team can’t wait for next season!

Watch the CCHS cheer team perfom down below!