MCSO Cheer Team wins state competition

Mar. 8—The Madison County Special Olympics (MCSO) Cheer Team recently won the state competition in Louisville.

According to Coach Lauren Kilburn, the cheerleaders practiced twice a week for an hour at a time to prepare for the competition.

During the season, they also flexed their skills at several Special Olympics basketball games, plus some of the athletes performed with the Eastern Kentucky University cheerleaders at a girl's basketball home game on March 2.

The cheerleaders took home second place in the beginner division last year. This year, they stepped their game up big time, securing first place in the intermediate division.

"For the state competition, they performed a sideline chant and a gymnastics cheer. Some of our athletes have skills such as front rolls, cartwheels, round-offs, and working backhand springs. They also do jumps such as toe touches and pikes," the coach explained.

She added that the cheerleaders are already asking about what we will be doing for 2025's state competition, but that's not surprising for Kilburn, who's acted as the cheer coach for two years.

"My favorite part about coaching them is their passion for their sport and wanting to give their all. They all bring something to the team and I love watching them support each other. I'm extremely proud of all of the hard work they have put in this year — it definitely paid off," she said.

Both seventeen-year-old Morgan Helton and 37-year-old Christian Grimes have been cheerleading with the team for years.

Both of them reported that they've made plenty of friends through MCSO sports and that they enjoy cheerleading a lot, with Grimes particularly enjoying gymnastic movement.

"I just like it, and I think it's fun," Grimes remarked, though she added that she would like it if the uniforms were sparkly.

Helton said, "What I like about cheerleading is getting to know people and learning what I can do and what I cannot do."

Grimes was unsurprised about their win — she felt like the team's odds were pretty good.

Helton said, "We're going to work hard next year, and we're going to, hopefully, win next year."

The athletes will have their last performance on March 8 at Force Dance Academy, wrapping up a successful season until they begin again in the fall.

Director Jaime Moore commented that MCSO has 8 sports throughout the year and just finished basketball and cheer. They will be starting Swimming and Track and Field soon.

Anyone interested in participating can call Jaime Moore at 859-623-8753.