With just over 217 students, Petersburg High School was one of the smallest schools competing at last week's state cheerleading championships in Anchorage.
But when the night was over, the Vikings walked off with the biggest prize.
Petersburg won grand champion honors last Wednesday at Sullivan Arena, edging 28 other squads - some from schools with more than 2,300 students - for the award.
"They just really worked very hard," Vikings coach Ronelle Beardslee said. "They went out there and did exactly what they were practicing all these months. They hit everything, every single stunt."
There were four divisions at the competition, and Petersburg competed in the co-ed basketball cheer squad grouping. The Vikings won that division, and won the grand champion award by posting the highest score in any division.
Petersburg did not receive a single penalty, Beardslee said. The Vikings were runners-up for the grand champion award last year. Petersburg's Andy Marsh, Kellie Luczak and Maari Wohlhueter earned all-tournament honors.
The Class 3A-4A state basketball tournament followed the cheer competition from Thursday through Saturday at Sullivan Arena, and Petersburg stayed to cheer on its boys and girls hoops teams.
The Vikings also carried on a tradition of regional cooperation by performing at Ketchikan boys games to support the Kings, who did not have a cheer squad at state.
The Juneau-Douglas High School cheer squad also performed at state, but did not place in the top two in the co-ed division. The Crimson Bears did place two cheerleaders on the all-tournament team - Vera Lumbab and Rachelle Albay.
Several Juneau cheerleaders were sick at the cheer competition and basketball tournament, but the Crimson Bears persevered to support the JDHS girls basketball team.
"It was kind of a bummer, but they were troupers and did what they could to cheer their team on to victory," Juneau coach Dawn Tucker said.
The Petersburg team includes Jayne Aiken, McKenzie Curtiss, Jenna Duke, Kris Edfelt, Maya Holmes, Becky Luczak, Annikki Kandoll, Max Littrell, Kellie Luczak, Aaron Marsh, Andy Marsh, Scott O'Neil, Cameron Peeler, Chelsea Smith, Ginny Ware, Veronica Ware and Maari Wohlhueter. They are coached by Beardslee, Nancy Curtiss and Debbie Thompson.
The Juneau team includes Rachelle Albay, Jesse Blair, Zak Bodine, Anna Buchanan, Andrea Francisco, Stephanie Gustafson, Jamey Holloway, Vera Lumbab, Tyfanny McMichael, Erik Mason, Rich Ritter, Jackie Ryan, Brennon Thomas and ReBecca Troutt. They are coached by Tucker, Shannon Wright, Megan Gustafson and Tara Bay.
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