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Perrysburg High School cheerleaders head to state competition on Sunday

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Perrysburg High School cheerleaders practice before going to state competition on Sunday.

The Blade/Matt Thompson
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Sunday at St. John's Arena in Columbus as the Perrysburg High School cheerleaders prepare for their first time competing for the state championship, they will lie on the mat and close their eyes.

"It is relaxing," senior Zoe Kusnier said Friday.

"It is something our coach has us do," junior Kayla Shadler. "We lay there and go through our routine and picture every move from start to finish."

For eight seniors on the 20-team squad, Sunday will be their last competition as a group. It will be a 2-minute, 30 second routine.

"It is cool to make states, but it is bittersweet," Ms. Kusnier said, sad she won't be cheering with her friends anymore.

Their coach, Karen Kinzig, said she is appreciative the squad's dedication, time, effort and sacrifice.

"They are incredibly intelligent young women that are great members of the community," she said. "I saw them more than their parents on busy weeks with games and practices."

Friday, the girls were getting ready to hop on a bus and go to Liberty Benton to cheer on the boys basketball team.

"We get really into the games," Ms. Kusnier said. "When the game gets close, we get so into it and cheer on our boys. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush at competitions."

It is the first time the Perrysburg cheerleaders will be competing in states.

"We don't want to get cocky," Ms. Kusnier said. "But it feels good to get [to states]."

 Senior Evelyn Tammarine said the team had been working on this routine since October, constantly adding things and practicing it over and over.

"We practiced it through until it go perfect," she said.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com or 419-356-8786 or on twitter at @mthompson25.

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