The Mustang Bronco pom squad is gearing up for an exciting stretch of the season and coach Kelly Noble says her team is ready to put on a show.
The Broncos are preparing for the 2023 Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Game Day Regional and State competitions as well as the 2023 Dance Team Union Regional – all scheduled within the next three weeks.
The team has been increasing intensity at practice and scheduling extra days in order to be “100-percent ready” says Noble. Mustang participated in the Game Day State Competition for the first time last season and now with knowledge and experience on its side, the squad is raising expectations.
“Last year was a learning experience for all of us because we weren’t exactly sure what would be going into the competition,” Noble said. “This year we have a much better idea of what to expect and just based off that we think we will do much better.
“The girls have been putting in a lot of time and effort and are excited to put on a show.”
The Broncos are led by a group of five seniors, including Emmy Estabrook, Adrianna Krusweski, Ava Mitro, Kinley Ogdahl, and Skylar Wright. Noble says that although there aren’t as many upperclassmen this season as usual, they make up for it with their dedication.
“They are set on having a positive mindset and are always encouraging the entire team,” Noble said. “They prioritize good sportsmanship and are great examples for their teammates and classmates. They have challenged the team and set high goals for this season, and they really have made excellent progress.”
The seniors also help coordinate events, including spirit awards given to elementary students each week. They are also involved in setting up pep assemblies and different events geared toward community involvement.
One event they help host is the ‘School of the Week’ award. A different elementary school is selected each week, and the students are able to run through the tunnel with the pom, cheer, and football teams prior to games on Friday nights at Bronco Stadium.
Leia Eads, Emma Gregg, Isbel Herrera, Savanna Rychlec, Lauren Smith, and Kaleah White are the junior members on the team while Gabby Bowen, Aubrie Calvert, Evelin DeLafuentes, Madelyn Hobza, Meredith Malchaski, and Jaeyla Steed make up the sophomore class. Harper Acosta and Madelyn Bryson are the freshman members.
The team practices at 6 a.m. three times per week and usually works through part of first hour at school. They also worked out on average three times per week during the summer, getting in shape and practicing routines for this season.
Noble says the team is incorporating front handsprings and different tumbling tricks into their team routines.
“We wanted to add some things to show what the girls can do away from the dance portion,” she said. “We’re also doing team aerials. The girls have made significant progress on those things. And it’s cool to see them celebrate with each other.
“It’s nice to see them support one another and giving advice. That’s how they keep improving.”
The OSSAA Game Day Regional is set for Nov. 4 at Piedmont High School. Teams will be judged on three categories, including band dance, band chant, and fight song.
The Mustang pom squad performs a routine during halftime of the Mustang Bronco football game vs Norman on Oct. 20, 2023, at Bronco Stadium. The Broncos are preparing for the Game Day Regional and State competitions over the next three weeks. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
The top 10 scores from the regional advance to the Game Day State competition on Nov. 10-11 at Moore High School.
“We are definitely hoping to advance to state again this year,” Noble said. “We want to finish in the top three instead of the top six and we think we can do it.”
The Broncos won’t have to make any last-minute adjustments like they did in 2022 said Noble. Now they have a game plan and are ready to execute.
“Last year we had to add a few extra practices to make those adjustments because it was our first year and we weren’t sure what to expect. Luckily it paid off for us, but this year we won’t have to do those things. We have a better grasp on everything and are excited to see it unfold.”
Noble says the team also expects to take home an academic achievement award for a second straight year. They place an emphasis on the classroom and take pride in winning such an award.
Kacy Oltmann will also be helping Mustang prepare for Game Day Regionals and State for the first time. Oltmann was hired in January as the team’s assistant coach and brings plenty of dance experience to the table according to Noble.
“She has been absolutely fantastic and was able to jump in right away and become a significant help for everything we do.”
The Broncos will follow Game Day Regionals and State with the Dance Team Union Regional Competition on Nov. 18 in Tulsa. They are looking to qualify once again for the National Championship Competition in February.
“We are excited for the next few weeks and are proud to represent Mustang in everything we do,” Noble said. “We have a lot of leadership at the top and I know the girls are ready to see all of their hard work pay off.”