VOLGA – The Cossacks are “out of this world.”
The Sioux Valley competitive cheer team won its annual home invitational on Thursday evening at the Cossack Center.
The hosts posted a score of 174.5.
“I was very happy with the performance today,” said coach Casie King. “We actually had one of our main bases out with a concussion, so two days ago we had to put in an athlete that’s never done any of that stuff before. So we took a big risk putting it in there, but they did a really good job and I’m really proud of how they came together this week and kind of overcame some obstacles.
“They did very well.”
Dell Rapids was second at 129.
Deubrook Area (126.5) placed third, Redfield (104) fourth, Arlington/Lake Preston (88.5) fifth, Northwestern (84.5) sixth and Faulkton Area (78) seventh.
“I think it went very well,” said Cossack senior Ashton Tucker. “There were a couple rocky things but that’ll happen here and there. Otherwise, it was very good and there were things that we did better than before. But yeah, it was a very good performance.”
The Cossacks are the 13-time defending Class A state champions – they’ve won every year since the sport was sanctioned by the SDHSAA in 2007.
Thursday marked Sioux Valley’s fourth competition of the season and it has four more to go before state, which is Oct. 23 in Rapid City.
“Moving forward we’re looking at just cleaning and polishing,” added King. “We literally can’t think of another skill to put in our routine – we have everything in there we can. We have a lot of athletes pushing to extend their tumbling skills and get some higher-level skills. But for the most part, we’re really happy with our difficulty, we’re just looking to polish.”
Added Tucker when asked about the key the rest of the season: “To keep doing things better and just working harder at things and hoping to hit zero at some point before state comes around.”
Sioux Valley has four seniors on the roster in Chloe Andre, Taylor Bingham, Keatyn Moad and Tucker. They got to compete at home one last time and celebrate Senior Night during these uncertain times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s so special, especially to see all the fans out here supporting us and cheering us on. It feels really good when you’re out there and you see everyone supporting you,” said Tucker.
“We are so fortunate here at Sioux Valley,” noted King. “Our administration has done such a great job trying to make everything possible that they can. Obviously we have a new setup (for fans) – we’re trying to have it so everybody can bring their fans and still stay in their pods and social distance. But I think it worked out really well being able to spread out like this and I don’t think for a second that they take anything for granted. I think they’re very appreciative of being able to have these home meets and have everybody here watching them and supporting them.”
Coach King has three daughters on the team – junior Kalista, sophomore Kiana and seventh-grader Kalia.
All three competed together Thursday – a first for the trio in the Sioux Valley Invite.
“Yeah, it’s a little crazy,” said Coach King. “It’s overwhelming sometimes. I’m sure they’re a little sick of me because they get to go home with the coach.
“But it’s a very big blessing to get to do what I love with the people I love. So very, very glad to have all three of my girls on the team this year. It’s been very fun.”
Sept. 29 – O’Gorman Invitational, 5 p.m.
Oct. 3 – Sioux Falls Roosevelt Invitational, Pentagon, 11 a.m.
Oct. 6 – Brandon Valley Invitational, 5 p.m.
Oct. 10 – Mitchell Invitational, Corn Palace, 10:30 p.m.
Oct. 23 – Class A State Competition, Rapid City