Two weeks before the Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Championships, Morrill High School senior Katrina Kohel found herself all alone when three of her teammates suddenly left the team. Since the team had already booked the hotel rooms for the competition, coach April Ott presented two options: going and watching the other teams or skipping the championship completely. However, in order to show the cheerleading spirit that coach Ott often tells the team to do during practice, Kohel decided to compete solo to end her last cheer season with a “bang.” The day after she had made her decision, the two met to change the routine, and on February 17th, Kohel performed the modified, three-minute routine solo against the other squads with around 10 cheerleaders. Even though she placed eighth out of the twelve teams, she had won the hearts of the viewers who cheered her on during her performance, as well as those who left comments for the video that circulated online. Kohel was amazed by the support she received from the chants she led, and says she hopes her experience will inspire others to keep working hard, to know that they can achieve whatever they put their minds to. “You’ll get where you want to go,” Kohel said. “And just don’t give up just because everybody else around you has.”

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