Grangeville High School cheerleaders

The 2019-2020 Grangeville High School cheerleaders qualified for state competition. Pictured are (from left): back row, Kaylee Sullivan, Nora Dolan, Maitland Soto, KenneDee Scheuerman, Annaleise Bearden, Bree Braseth and McKell McDougal; and, front row, Bryce Cassill, Hunter Robinson, River Phillips, James Gortsema and coach Renita Lee.

Grangeville’s cheerleaders — a squad of 11, with eight newcomers — qualified for two events at the state competition that had been scheduled to begin this Friday, March 20, at the Idaho Center.

An Idaho High School Activities Association decision made in the name of public health cancelled that state competition.

“Cheer and dance is the only state competition that has been cancelled so far,” coach Renita Lee told the Free Press Tuesday, March 17. “So they’re heartbroken. We really thought at the start of the season this would be a rebuilding year, but the kids wanted to show they can compete and they did.”

Against 2A district competitors St. Maries and Orofino, earlier this month the Bulldogs advanced their co-ed show and co-ed five-person stunt routines.

The district event ended up being the last competition for senior Hunter Robinson.

Lee, who began coaching the cheer squad when her daughter was involved, said she had intended to retire last year. She said she’s looking for a younger coach to train to eventually take over the program, but emphasized she “won’t abandon these kids. They’re learning that if you work hard, you can be really successful, and we’ve proved to them they have athletic ability.”

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