UDA competitive spirit squad members are (from left): Front – Emilee Schell, Rebecka Wilson-Ramer and Kate Hoch; middle – Sierra Dauberman, Lindsey Deibert, Lilly Boyer and Samantha Stitt; back – Krystabella Kauslauskas, Taylor Heim and Autumn Werner. (Sentinel Photo by Todd Gearhart)
Story by Duane Good
‘‘Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.’’ • SUN TZU, THE ART OF WAR
They had been in the same situation before – learning a routine, then being forced to change it when someone resigned. At one point, they’d been 15 girls strong.
With less than 24 hours to go before their most important competition of the year, they were minus five – a full one-third of the group.
The latest departure had come 15 minutes before the start of the final rehearsal for the big show.
In about an hour’s time, the now 10-member Upper Dauphin Area High School competitive spirit squad altered its planned routine and competed, as scheduled, at the PIAA state tournament held Jan. 11 at Giant Center, Hershey.
Performing against more than 40 other teams from throughout Pennsylvania, the Trojans did not move beyond the preliminary round this year.
Yet there was a feeling, among both the girls and their coaches, that a major victory had been won even before the performance began.
‘‘We pretty much had to re-arrange the entire routine,’’ said Rebecka Wilson-Ramer, a senior. ‘‘To be able to be here today was an amazing experience in itself,’’ Kate Hoch, also a senior, noted.
Team Captain Emilee Schell stressed that as far she and the nine other athletes were concerned,
Read More On PAGE A10 • 1.15.19 Issue