Nebraska high school cheerleader Katrina Kohel performed alone at Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Competition after the other cheerleaders pulled out at the last minute.
The crowd threw their support behind Katrina as she delivered the “go-fight-and-winning” routine alone on Friday, February 17th.
Ott said Kohel was “so pumped up and full of energy” during her performance.
“The crowd was just going wild behind us,” Ott said. “It was an amazing experience. Just to hear the booming callbacks from the crowd was spectacular.”
“It was definitely out of my comfort zone,” Kohel told Fox News Digital in an interview.
“This is not something I would normally do by any means, but I didn’t want to end my senior year on a low note,” she went onto say. “I guess you could say I wanted to go out with a bang.”
Following the news that her fellow cheerleaders couldn’t make it, Kohel had a discussion with April Ott, who is her cheer coach, and they decided to proceed with Kohel delivering the routine solo.
“It did take me aback a little bit when she said, ‘I am going to compete on my own,’” Ott told Fox News Digital.
“I said, ‘On your own?’ And she said, ’Yeah.’ So, I went home and thought about it. I thought, ‘Well, why not? The fees were already paid for. We had our hotel rooms. Let’s just go.'”
Ott said she has enjoyed watching Kohel “learn and grow so much” since joining the team 4 years ago.
Ott said last year that Kohel was ready to step into in a leadership role.
“Katrina has always been very bubbly, very willing to help anybody and any person in any way,” Ott said.
“She’s like, ‘Can I help you? Can I do that? Let me help you with that. Let’s do this.’ She is quite the team player. She roots for others all the time,” Ott said.
Kohel and Ott were able to rewrite the routine to allow Kohel to perform alone. They ensured that all parts of the “Game Day” category remained in the routine.
“We just had to take out all of our stunts and make it where the signs were able to be used [by] one person,” Kohel said. “It really wasn’t too difficult to change it, seeing as we already had a small squad.”
Ott believes that Katrina’s performance can inspire others.
“Katrina stood up for herself,” Ott said. “I feel like this is a story for everyone. Never quit. Just stand up, just keep going. Whatever the adversities are, just keep going.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR
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