GRANITE CITY – The Granite City High School Coed Cheerleading squad is headed back to State for the second-consecutive season and fourth time in school history.

The Warriors placed third out of five teams at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Edwardsville Sectional with 85.47 points, which was held virtually on March 6th.

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The Warriors are one of 25 teams who qualified for the 2021 IHSA Virtual State Finals, which is set for Saturday, March 13th. Granite City also qualified for the IHSA Coed Cheerleading State finals in 2008, 2010 and 2020.

"My hope is that by qualifying for IHSA State back-to-back years that we can finally try to break away from the old stereotypical way of thinking of what cheerleading is," said GCHS head coach Meagan Watkins. "These athletes have worked incredibly hard to accomplish what they have this season and are making a positive impact on the community and the GC cheerleading program. We will continue the success of our program through hard work and determination of our athletes and coaching staff!"

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Led by captains Luci Blomme, Riley Hatfield, Kayla Hubbard and Elena Schulz, GCHS performed a one-minute, 90-second virtual routine at Sectionals. The Warriors will perform the same routine on Saturday for the virtual State Finals, making small adjustments and cleaning up any mistakes.

"A lot of work goes into the routines we perform," Watkins added. "We're in the weight room weekly, practice five days a week, attend additional tumbling practices, on top of cheering on the football, basketball, and soccer teams."

Granite City is slated to compete at the IHSA Virtual State Finals on Saturday at 2:20 p.m., and will be streamed live at NFHSNetwork.com. The Awards for Large Team Division and Coed Team Division is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

For more information about Granite City School District #9, visit http://www.gcsd9.net/.

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