Jerome, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Jerome High School cheer team recently returned from a national competition where they took fifth place.
The Jerome cheer team returned from nationals with a fifth place finish (Source: KMVT)
“We went and competed against 15 teams in California in the co-ed intermediate division," said cheer coach Kira Capps. "And we were just so excited to even be there. I mean, what a great opportunity against all these California, Arizona and Nevada teams that are like born and raised cheer. I mean, they bleed cheer over there."
The 31 students on the squad were led by captains Lane Southwick and Carely Melena, both seniors.
“It was a lot of fun, a lot of work too," Carely said. "Like most people thought we were just like taking a break or something, but it was work every single day, and especially for the competitions. It was a lot of work, but it was really fun."
“Yeah, like the effort we put in, lots of 6 a.m. practices, everyone just so dedicated, coming to work hard,” Lane added.
Capps, who’s been at Jerome since 2014, also said it couldn’t have been done with help.
“I could not have done it without my assistant Jamie. She is my rock; she's amazing," Capps said. "Also the parents. The parent community for cheer here is 100 percent the best parents I've ever had to deal with, with any sort of cheer program."
Capps said they received a lot of attention.
“We put Idaho on the map," she said. "I mean, it was pretty cool. We had different people, different teams come up to us after and say, bright orange pompoms, the cool signs, like they knew who we were, and they were all just like, 'whoa.'"
It’s also clear Capps take cheer seriously.
“It's a family," she said. "It's the reason that I have passion to bring to Jerome. And just the respect that these kids deserve. I mean, they're at football, basketball, they attend volleyball, and soccer matches. They do it all for their school, and I think it's the number one thing. I think cheer gets overlooked a lot, and they are there to support, you know, their community."
And they have something to look forward to.
“We made it a goal when we go back, we're going to be in the top 2,” Capps said.