On weekdays in the winter, the Oregon High School cheer team is a part of the gameday experience for boys and girls basketball games.

Weekends are where the Panthers shine by themselves.

Oregon competed in four local competitions this season, as well as the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches State Cheer Championships in Watertown on Feb. 21 and 22. The team won first place in the cheer dance routine at the Greendale High School competition in January.

At competitions, the Panthers perform a stunts/pyramids (traditional) cheer routine and a cheer-dance routine.

Oregon saved some of its best performances for the state championships, which featured 76 teams. The Panthers were one of 36 teams to compete in an additional routine and competed in two of the largest divisions during prelims.

Oregon advanced to the cheer-dance finals and tied for seventh out of 11 teams.

In the non-tumble (stunting) division, the Panthers placed ninth out of 16 teams (2.6 points away from qualifying for finals).

“It was an honor to coach this group of athletes,” said head coach Kelli Pierce, who teamed with first-year assistant Angela Pica. “It was exciting to witness their growth as individuals and as a team throughout the season.”

Seniors Emmy Coppelman, Leanne Maples, Erin McCammick and Sophie Nault led the 13-member squad, which included four newcomers.

“Even though I could not compete this season due to injury, I loved watching my team grow and learn new stunts,” Coppelman said. “I’m thankful that my team made me feel included from the sidelines.”

Maples said the team “turned from strangers into family” throughout the season.

“Being on the cheer team has not only made me more confident, but has helped me develop leadership and teamwork skills that I will continue to use in the future,” McCammick said. “I also made many friendships through the team which I will cherish.”

In addition to its responsibilities at football and basketball games, the Panthers host two youth cheer clinics for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade each school year and a summer camp for grades 5-8.

If you would like information or to be added to the team’s mailing list, contact Coach Pierce at klpierce@oregonsd.net.