Pompon Palace

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The Mercy Pompon team poses with their first place trophy at the Palace of Auburn Hills Pompon Competition on Jan. 17 (Photo Courtesy: Larry Baker).

Kristen Hiser, Staff Reporter

Mercy Pompon (MVP) team begins its road to the state finals after it took home the first place trophy at the Palace of Auburn Hills High School Pompon Competition on Jan. 17. As a reward for winning, MVP was awarded the half-time performance at the Detroit Pistons v. Philadelphia 76ers NBA game on Jan. 17 after the pompon competition.

“Performing at the Palace during half-time was unreal,” said junior Maddy Boji.

The 16 members of Mercy’s pompon team have been working hard since the school year began. The pompon season runs annually from Oct. to Feb. The girls practice from 6:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. three times per week. Members of the pompon team also perform at the Mercy Varsity Basketball half-time shows to practice their routines publicly before competitions.

To prepare for competitions, the team conditions for 10 minutes at the beginning of its warm-up. Next, the team practices the kick line. After, the girls practice their routines.

At the Palace of Auburn Hills High School Pompon Competition, Mercy performed second to last, meaning the team only had to wait about 20 minutes to find out the results of the competition. The team won first prize with their routine to the songs “Run This Town” by Rihanna and “Lamborghini Mercy” by Kanye West.

“[Winning] first place was indescribable, and we were all crying,” Boji said.

Many schools from around Michigan were also competing. Mercy’s biggest competitor was the Dakota High School Cougars of Macomb. Dakota High School’s team, coached by Jean Gelineau, reigned champions of the Palace Competition for multiple years. Dakota came in second place behind Mercy. Walled Lake Central High School finished third.

“I was really proud of the team,” said sophomore Alex Powell. “We have such a long season, and it felt really good that our hard work paid off.”

See the Mercy Pompon team perform its winning routine at the regional competition at Northville High School on Jan. 24.