The DPHS Cheer Team with their bid to compete at the State Cheer Competition.
By: Kimberly Perry
For the first time in school history, the Deer Park High School(DPHS) Cheer Team, coached by Kimberly Perry and Kieran Brown, will head to the State Cheerleading competition held February 2nd-3rd, 2024, at Battleground High School.
The DPHS Cheer Team will be competing in the small game day division. They will perform on Saturday, February 3rd at 12:30pm. Live coverage of the competition will be available for viewing on the NFHS network: https://DPGazette.com/nfhs2324 or on the WIAA Live app on mobile devices.
“This team has overcome so much adversity and been tenacious through all of it. They’ve shown that they’re dedicated and determined and they make me proud,” says Head Coach Perry. “As a coaching staff, it’s always hard when we want the success more than our athletes do. But this group of athletes has proven that they want to make their school and community proud!”
The team has competed at several cheer competitions in Spokane and the surrounding area. Any team who scores 65 or higher in small game day qualifies for state. They earned their state spot at the Spokane Showdown competition held at Ferris High School on Saturday, December 9th. DPHS is the first Eastern Washington team to qualify this year. They also earned a first-place trophy at the Hanford Competition on January 13th.
The DPHS competition team has eight members. They are Eternity Doney (senior), Elayna Shupe, Eliza Staph, Gretchen Ware (juniors), Morgan Knutson, Kierstyn Ingram, Madelyn Edwards, and Elizabeth DeBorde (sophomores).
Coach Perry is currently in her eighth year of coaching for DPHS and her fifth year as head coach. She cheered for DPHS from 2007 to 2011. This is Coach Brown’s first year of cheer coaching for DPHS. She has experience coaching as a track coach and was a substitute coach for the team last year. She also cheered in high school and college at the University of Montana Western. Both Perry and Brown have to get certified in several areas in order to coach at all, and they take a stunt certification course to legally coach cheerleading.
The community is invited to send the team off to state on Friday, February 1st, between 8:30am – 9:00am. They will meet in front of Bicycles by Deron and be joined by The Pickett Fence for a send-off celebration. Bicycles by Deron is located at 105 E. Crawford St in Deer Park.
The school will pay for the team to travel by bus and stay in a hotel, as they do with any other sport that goes to state. Meals will not be provided by the school, and that is the same for all sports. The Cheer Boosters have been hard at work all year with various fundraisers to prepare for this competition. Sponsorships are still available for the community to help with, and you can get more information by contacting Coach Perry through DPHS.
- Perry, Kimberly. Interview. Conducted by Meegan Ware. 17 December 2023.