After an uncertain start, the Greencastle High School Cheerleading Squad is headed to the state finals in New Castle on Saturday.
The team emerged from the Oct. 27 preliminary round in the state's top 10, but the road to the top was a rocky one.
"We lost a lot of experience last year, and we got three freshman on the squad this year," said coach Lori Shuck, adding that when the season started they could barely land a simple stunt.
"They've felt the pressure and they've all been challenged, but they've stepped up."
Hard work has been has been key to the squad's growing success all season, says Shuck, and will be the key to their New Castle performance on Saturday.
In the last two week, the team has choreographed an entirely new routine, incorporating new skills and dance elements that are required to compete at the state level.
"We are practicing every day of the week," Shuck said, adding that the team is extremely confident after making it through the preliminary round. "These girls are real competitors."
The team finished in the state's number seven spot in 2006, but hopes their new routine will help them break into the top five this year.
When asked if her squad planned to "bring it on," coach Shuck replied, "We will definitely bring it on during our dance, but you won't see any spirit fingers."
The squad will take the floor at New Castle Chrysler High School this Saturday at 3:25 p.m.