The Mustang Broncos are ready to ride into the 2023 Class 6A Game Day State Championships this Friday at Moore High School.
With one of the largest and most talented squads the program has seen, coach Caitlin Walker is excited about this year’s state competition, especially after scoring the highest of all west side schools at regionals last weekend.
The Broncos scored a grand total of 443.8 points in the regional, finishing sixth overall. They scored 188.4 in ‘Crowd Leading,’ which ranked second among all teams, 154.4 in ‘Fight Song,’ and 101 in ‘Band Dance.’
Mustang’s squad features 37 athletes this season, including nine seniors who Walker says have shined in leadership roles since starting practice last May.
It’s a larger group of upperclassmen than most years, but they each bring their own “unique style.”
“All nine of these people have been absolute assets in one way or another.” Walker said. “They’re all very different and bring their own perspective and leadership qualities to the team.
“They work really well together, and communication is really an area where they shine. With so many girls on the team, they have made life a lot easier on us as coaches.”
Members of the Mustang cheer squad pose for a photo during a football game earlier this season. The Broncos are preparing for this weekend’s Game Day State Championships at Moore High School. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
Kiersten Banks, Kenzie Hamilton, Kloe Holman, Kaylee Lowry, Ryleigh Lynch, Kylee McClay, London Mills, Avery Parker, and Lauren Sloan are the team’s seniors.
They have helped guide the squad through 7 a.m. practice sessions, multiple competitions, sideline, and halftime at football games, and much more.
Krista Baca, Aubrie Bowling, Katelyn Gann, Izzie Jones, Kynlie Langerman, Rain Risenhoover, and Lauren Taylor make up the squad’s juniors. Mylee Glenn, Lily Gorksuscha, Emerson Kissling, Faith Lindsey, Mallorie Massie, Addi Rogers, and Kaitlyn Weston are the team’s sophomores.
The Broncos are aiming to place in the top five this weekend. The team’s theme is “Let’s Ride,” a phrase coined in Mustang by head football coach Lee Blankenship and play-by-play host for MHSBroncoSports.TV Ryan Booth.
They are looking to build off energy from the crowd as they go through specific routines throughout the competition.
“One of our biggest goals coming into the season was to place in the top five of each of our competitions,” Walker said. “We have been working on being sharp and clean in motions and making sure they can lead a crowd. We added more tumbling than ever before and even received our highest score ever in that area at our last competition.
“Just adding all of that with the performance aspect, skills, and entertainment, I think we really have a shot of reaching that goal for state.”
At this point in the season, Walker says getting up early for 7 a.m. practice has become easy for her squad. They have tried to work in front of a crowd as much as possible and when one isn’t available, they crank up the music to mimic that energy.
“Our kids are usually pretty good in front of a crowd,” Walker said. “They turn it on. As soon as they get people in front of them, they start putting on a show.”
The Mustang cheer squad is preparing for the 2023 Class 6A Game Day State Championships this weekend at Moore High School. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
The Broncos are especially looking to build upon their second place showing in ‘Crowd Leading’ at regionals. Walker says one of the best aspects about MHS is the support.
Students who attend the state competition this Friday are able to use an excused absence from school.
“We’re pretty lucky to have such great support and fan attendance,” Walker said. “The coaches and players from all of our teams show up for us. We placed highly at state last year because of that and are hoping for more of the same.”
It has been “pedal to the metal” leading up to this weekend’s competition. They have been able to compete at different events and use judges’ remarks to help build upon their routines. Not to mention sideline practice, halftime shows, and more.
Walker is also on the Mustang Youth Football and Cheer board, which has helped youth cheerleaders participate and cheer for local youth football teams throughout the week. They also host clinics and performances to feature the hard work the youth coaches and athletes have put in this fall.
“They brought coach Blankenship and I on to kind of help build the programs from the ground up,” Walker said. “Which has been super cool. It is fun for our team to participate with the athletes in the clinics and performances and interact with the young girls who look up to them so much. It’s fun for everybody.”
The Broncos are scheduled to perform at 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning for the preliminary round. The finals are set to start at 10:20 a.m.