OFHS dance team qualifies for state

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Panthers advance in ‘challenging’ hip hop category

Warren Bluhm, wbluhm@newmedia-wi.com

Oconto Falls School Board President Ron Leja, standing at left, congratulates the high school dance team for advancing to the state championships. Front row from left, Abby Decker, Ali Brown, Gabby Konop, Emma Howey and Lindsey Schuster; middle row, Haylee Whiting, Brett Norling, Karen Mielke, Cedar Olson, McKenzie Jackson and Sami Drews; back row, Ari Kubsh, Loryn Wolf, Ashley Britton, Cameron Mercier, Autumn Payette, Isabella Clausen and head coach Laura Kostreva. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Oconto Falls High School dance team competed Feb. 2 at the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches state dance championships in La Crosse, capping one of the most successful seasons in the team’s history.

The team performed a jazz routine titled “Clearly” and a hip hop routine titled “BZRK” at the regional competition at Kimberly High School in late January, advancing to compete in hip hop at the state level.

“Oconto Falls has never competed in hip hop before; it’s kind of a challenging style,” head coach Laura Kostreva told the Oconto Falls School Board when the team was recognized at the board’s Feb. 11 meeting. “Our girls did fantastic. They did an amazing job, and I’m so proud.”

The state judges announce only the top five finishers, and the Panthers team did not place, Kostreva said. “We’re hoping in the future that we can make one of those coveted spots.”

Along with the team receiving high scores, junior Emma Howey performed a solo and was selected as an all-state finalist.

Kostreva and assistant coaches Aubrie Rochon and Trisha Blaser said the dance team did a “fabulous” job of representing Oconto Falls High School. School Board President Ron Leja presented team members with certificates recognizing their accomplishments, and the coaches thanked the board and team parents for their support.

The season could not have been as successful without Athletic Director Jerry Moynihan’s constant support and guidance, Kostreva added.