Cheerleaders continue tradition: Kernels win Spirit of Six Award for seventh timeThe Mitchell crowd gave the Kernels a lot of support last weekend at the Class AA boys’ state basketball tournament in Rapid City.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell crowd gave the Kernels a lot of support last weekend at the Class AA boys’ state basketball tournament in Rapid City.
The fans were led by the Kernels’ cheerleaders, who were awarded the Spirit of Six award for the fifth time in nine years.
“They didn’t go into Rapid City thinking about winning the Spirit of Six,” Mitchell’s cheer coach Amanda Gilman said. “They were more concerned about what they were there to do, which was cheer on the basketball team.”
The Spirit of Six is an award given to the cheerleaders considered to be best on crowd control, dress, sportsmanship and enthusiasm at the boys’ basketball state tournament.
The award is given by the South Dakota Peace Officers Association in tribute to the Rapid City High School cheerleaders who were killed in March 1968 in a plane crash while the girls were returning from the Class A state basketball tournament.
“The group this year is one of the hardest working squads I’ve ever coached,” Gilman said after her first season with the Kernels.
Gilman said she knew that the Mitchell squad had a history of success with the award when she took over the team. The Kernels had won the award in 1984, 1990, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009.
“We all got a little bit emotional,” she said about the team’s reaction after earning the award.
Gilman felt that the team deserved the award for all of its hard work through the entire school year.
The Mitchell School District added competitive dance this season, so the team had been working on more than just sideline cheerleading.
“They are just so dedicated,” Gilman said. “They brought it every day. They were never going to settle. That makes the award a lot more special.”