Joe Barbee, a retired coach and teacher from Thayer who is a grandparent of a cheerleader, felt the squad needed more recognition. "It was a unique honor for the girls to win first in the state. They worked hard and deserved more recognition than what they have received."
Local photographer, Joyce Bohm, donated the picture of the cheerleaders for the billboard. Auto FX, of Koshkonong, is responsible for the sign itself, and Ray Rees, who is a father of a cheerleader, framed the sign. Great Southern Bank provided the space for the sign to be placed.
Regina Stone, parent and teacher at Thayer, said, "The sign was a community effort between local businesses and parents. The location for the sign is a great location for people to see, and for the girls to get the recognition they deserve."
Don Chappell, superintendent at Thayer, added, "I am very proud of our kids. We have fantastic students. This is a very, very good accomplishment for the girls."
The state cheer competition started in July 2011 in Willard, Mo., where the Thayer Cheerleaders placed second, qualifying them for the state cheer-off. In October 2011, they competed in Columbia against seven teams, winning first place in the 2A Large category.
With a State Championship to defend, the 2012-2013 cheerleading squad is in preparation for competition later this month that will take place in Nixa, and working hard this summer to stay in shape and improve their routines. They are coached by Traci Willison.