Pitt State Cheer rolls with the changes brought on by COVID-19


PITTSBURG, Kan. — Sports at almost every level have been in flux ever since the pandemic started. Things seem to change almost by the day. But, the Pitt State Cheer team isn’t letting that steal their spirit.

Normally during this time, they would be gearing up to compete in the UCA National Championship in January. But, like many other major sporting events, it’s been postponed.

“It got moved to the end of April,” said assistant coach Abbi Toney. “I believe we’re still trying to compete. It’s going to kind of depend on how the situation looks come closer to April, but we’re preparing just in case. You know, we want to be prepared.”

In the meantime, they’re still trying to build up their team chemistry since the pandemic put them way behind schedule.

“It affected our tryout process a little bit,” said junior Gracie Krokroskia. “You know, we went virtual tryouts, which is not something that’s really heard of or that’s really been done before here. Then, fast-forwarding to this summer, we weren’t allowed to practice or meet at all this summer. So, you know, that’s definitely been frustrating and a little bit harder to deal with. We feel like we’re behind a little bit as a team because we didn’t get to practice all summer. I think our first practices took place around September. So, We’ve been here for about two months. We’re trying to play catch up a little bit and just keep a positive atmosphere and keep trying to work towards our goals.”

But, with the competition being moved back, it gives the team more time to prepare.

“It’s easier on their bodies,” said Toney. “You know, they’re in a lot better spirits. They’re not going through six hour practices every single day for 30 days straight. You know, we’re able to spread that out over a few months.”

Through it all, their goal has remained the same — to be the best team they can be.

“To say the least, it’s been interesting,” said senior Jacob Markovich. “Definitely not ideal, pretty much the opposite. But, we’ve been making the most out of every situation and we’ve taken every opportunity we can get to get better.”

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