AHS Varsity Pom

Back row: Kyle Kinkel, Campbell Clark, Libby Collins, Allie Logan, Elana Naftolin, Alyssa Blanks and Sophia Alba. Front row: Coach Ashley, Rheana Stangler, Sydney Guest-Nelson, Stella Morganstern, Jules Johns, Ava Farias and Assistant Coach Jaymie.

Arcadia High School’s Varsity Pom squad wrapped up their best season yet with their first-ever state championship. The team came out in full force to secure the AIA Division 2 Pom State Title, winning by over 2.5 points and scoring highest for both the execution and choreography portions.

The Arcadia pom program started in 2018. The group has been state runners-up two years in a row before winning it all last month. Coach Ashley Parcell said this accomplishment is incredible not just for the athletes but for the AHS Spiritline as a whole.

“These girls have worked so hard all season with the road to state in mind,” Parcell said. “They gave it all they had in every practice and put it all out there on the floor at their state competition in hopes of becoming state champions, and they did it. Words cannot even begin to express how proud I am.”

Parcell said winning the competition by a 2.5-point difference is quite a feat, since most differences between teams are within 0.5 points.

The team’s performance brought tears of joy to teammates and their supporters. Parcell says she will never forget that feeling, made possible by the athletes’ undeniable love for each other and their sport.

“The major key to success in winning this competition was the fact that my athletes shared the same vision and dream for their team,” Parcell said. “When 12 athletes have the same drive, the same goal and the same fire behind their eyes, anything becomes possible.”

The squad overcame adversity on their way to state glory, learning to dance through injuries and dealing with music malfunctions. Their journey included a first-place win in the pom division at the Sonoran Desert Classic and a second-place finish at the AIA State Qualifier Competition in February.

With the season officially over, the girls will be designing and ordering their champion rings and sharpening their skills for next season’s tryouts, which are just a few months away. 

“It was an amazing way to end our successful season and a great way to send my seniors into alumni status within our program,” Parcell said. “The girls have put so much time, effort, blood, sweat and tears into this sport that when their hard work pays off, it is the greatest feeling knowing that it is always worth it.”

Parcell says the squad will miss the graduating seniors as they head off to college, many with plans to pursue spots on their university’s dance teams. 

“I wish them all the best in their future and will always continue to cheer for them and support them throughout all they accomplish.”

The rest of the team will continue practicing and conditioning during the off-season with a focus on technique, skills, endurance, stamina and flexibility.

 “The high level of performance will be something that the team in future years will continue to strive to maintain and push past those limits,” Parcell said.