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By Travis Sloat
With Cheryl Zimmerman and Allison Anderson leading the cheer program at Lawton Eisenhower High School, there are a combined 27 years of experience at the helm resulting in an ever-growing list of awards accumulated by the program.
“One of the things IKE cheer does well year after year is representing Lawton Public Schools at the state level of competition,” Zimmerman said. “We have qualified for state all three years we have competed in the Game Day competition. Prior to competing in Game Day, we competed in the performance competition placing in the top four in Class 5A many times. We’ve also been the state academic champions twice during our years of coaching. This year we received the Distinguished Academic Award for our GPA, which ranked in the top 10 percent of Class 5A. In 2013 we were NCA national champions and in 2014 we were first runner-up NCA national champions.”
The secret to success, Zimmerman said, is in the details. One of those is togetherness; something she and Anderson both make sure is demonstrated in the program.
“We have pre-game dinners before every home football game,” she said. “We have holiday parties, photo shoots, pep rallies and halftime performances. There are gifts given before we attend camp and seniors make up a theme for fun day at camp, and they also enter the talent show at camp.”
There are four team captains on the IKE squad, Kat Cooper, Riann Godwin, Jaeylin Tims, and Taliyah Alexander. All four said they enjoy leading the fans and supporting the teams from the sidelines. They also said they enjoy the life lessons they are learning from cheer, and the closeness of the team.