March 2, 2019

The Lee’s Summit Tigerettes are: Cassie Workman, Sophie Penland, Peyton Lee, Eghosa Ogbevoen, Morgan Huser, Claire Franciskato, Macy Melton, Kaci Moritz, Alyssa Workman, Bre Magnuson, Leah Finch, Paige Morefield, Bailey Whitmarsh, Kelsey Ferguson, Delaney Duello, Abigail LaFerney, Avery Arnold, Olivia McKee, Maddie Kerr, Tori Garrett, Lily Aldenderfer, Larissa Mikle, Bailey Birchfield. The coaches are: Jennifer Blankenship and Kaitlin Rader

By Fred Liggett

When at an athletic event fans concentrate on the action taking place on the field or court but at Lee’s Summit High fans, students and alumni also enjoy the work done by the Tigerettes. The Tigerettes Dance Team, under the direction of Coach Jennifer Blankenship, recently returned from a state wide competition held at the Family Arena in St. Charles with the Division 5 State Championship.

14 other Class 5 schools competed in the event that Lee’s Summit came away with the highest score. Coach Blankenship on the finish to this year “feelings of pure joy and happiness.” “I am so very proud of how far this team has come and how hard working each dancer is.” The dance team members are not only talented but can be described with many other superlatives. The Tigerettes team members are described by coach Blankenship as “thoughtful, funny and extremely loyal friends.” “Each one of these girls banded together at the beginning of the season to complete the goal of doing their very best.”

Team members are not only competition champions but also scored well in the classroom with a very high GPA. Coach Blankenship says she became aware of how high the team’s GPA was when she submitted the information to the state competition for their recognition. “We have several members that are in the top 10% and higher in their classes.”

The Tigerettes have a very large team this year with 23 total members. In addition to the large number it’s a very young team. Coach Blankenship points out there are eight freshman, 10 sophomores, four juniors and just one senior. Blankenship feels the “team really came together and are dancing like a much older more seasoned team.” “Their dance teachers should be very proud of the dancers and the young women they have trained.”

Winning the state competition for the first time in 22 years is the “best feeling” according to Coach Blankenship. Adding “to bring this win back to LSHS has been an amazing experience for our girls as well as the coaches.” Blankenship is a former Tigerette who had always wanted to win state while in high school. “Now to be a part of the team that made it happen again is a feeling I won’t ever forget.” Coach would also like to recognize her sister and co-coach Kaitlin Rader for all of her dedication to making this the best team possible. With a title in hand and now on display at Lee’s Summit High School it shows yet another reason for many area residents to say “Go Tigers.”

Correctoin: In our Mar. 2, 2019 issue we incorrectly referred to the Division 5 State Champion Lee’s Summit Tigerette Dance Team as Lee’s Summit High School Cheer Team. We apologize for the error and have corrected the online article.