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They've got spirit
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Photo provided The Sparkle Squad was honored as the top wrestling cheerleaders in the Midstate at a recent banquet. Those pictured at the event are, from left, sponsor Stephanie Davis, Allie Latimer, WCHS wrestling coach Matt Turner, Katelyn Cox, Faith Coates, Tyger Davenport, sponsor Candice Willmore and sponsor Mary Payne.
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Wrestling coach Matt Turner, right, was blown away by the passion of the Sparkle Squad.

The Sparkle Squad has taken the town by storm since forming two years ago. Now the team has the hardware to match the heart and soul it shows on the Pioneer sidelines.

The Sparkle Squad was named the cheerleaders of the year by the Middle Tennessee Wrestling Coaches Association earlier this month. It was a huge win for the eight-person team, which pounded the mats while supporting the wrestling team this season.

“The excitement I had when they were chosen as the winners will never be outmatched,” said WCHS wrestling coach Matt Turner, who was in Nashville when the team accepted the award. “I watched them practice and went to their coach to find out how we could get them to be a part of the team. The rest is history.”

It was the first year the squad, made up of students from Warren County High School and Middle School, supported the wrestling team. The Sparkle Squad had made its mark on the football and basketball teams in recent years and the spirit spread to the wrestling team over the winter.

Their passion was a positive influence on the Pioneers, who often sprinted straight to the Sparkle Squad to celebrate after wins.

“It has been amazing to witness the awesome interactions of my athletes and this squad,” said Turner. “It has been even greater to see how visiting teams and parents have interacted with high-fives, standing ovations and other positive acts of appreciation.

“This squad has truly created a platform to showcase wrestling has a spot for everyone.”

Candice Willmore,  Warren County special education director, was ecstatic to see the team, which she helps coach with Mary Payne, Stephanie Davis, Whitney Dyer and Stacy Elam, get honored for their passion and hard work.

“Not everybody could attend, but those who could were so excited to receive a nice plague and recognition from the state wrestling champions,” said Willmore.

It may be just the start of the Sparkle Squad’s continued success.