Poms Bring Their BestWednesday, February 23, 2011 By Ryan Anderson
On January 29th, Paint Branch’s Pom Team traveled to Northwest High School to compete in the Jaguar Pom Invitational. Despite weeks and weeks of hard work, the girls failed to place in the competition. As the spectators made their way through the gargantuan Northwest building, it was plain to see the school spirit associated with pom teams. The bleachers given to each school were packed as soon as the doors opened. Wootton opened the competition with its 16-member team. A playlist laden with dubstep and hip-hop blared through the overhead speakers as the Patriots danced. Then the shaky-sounding MCs called for a ‘spirit check,’ as they would after every performance. Then it was time for the Pantherettes to take to the floor, which senior co-captain Oma Akuya described as feeling “like a rollercoaster about to drop.” Despite performing with just 13 dancers, Paint Branch’s team really cooked. There was a definite focus on shoes in their list of songs, with Elvis’ “Blue Suede Shoes” and the viral YouTube video “Shoes” featured. Their performance was quite impressive, with expert pom-pom exchanges, crisp kicks, and painful-looking splits. The crowd ate it up, with a constant roar coming from the PB bleacher section. One girl in the audience couldn’t sit down. Special mention should be given to the strong trio that was PB’s drumline. After another spirit check, natural rivals Blake came out for performance. They opened with “Dies Irae,” the typical intense song. However, it was well-chosen, as their performance was quick and strong. Quince Orchard, Magruder, and Damascus followed, without much to mention. Rounding out the competition was Sherwood, the largest team at the competition. Poms is traditionally a big thing at Sherwood, and expectations were high. The playlist featured songs from Passion Pit and Kanye West. However, the performance was disappointing, with an especially sloppy kickline section. After Sherwood’s performance, all the teams came back out into the gym, and then it was time for awards. The spirit award, given to the best crowd at those aforementioned spirit checks, was won by Blake. For the captain award, Magruder came in 3rd, Blake came in 2nd, and Sherwood placed 1st. Sherwood also took the award for best choreography. And finally, the overall team awards featured Magruder with bronze, Blake with silver, and Sherwood undeservingly sweeping the competition, winning gold. This competition was not the last for the PBs Poms Team. The girls have the county competition, the one that really counts, on February 19th at Richard Montgomery High School. So go out and support the team and all their hard work.