Ethan cheer team wins "Spirit of Six" award at Class B boys state tournament

Mar. 18—ABERDEEN — The Ethan cheer team didn't know what to think right away.

There was sheer joy from the Rustler cheerleaders Saturday when it was announced at halftime of the Class B boys basketball championship game that Ethan was this year's recipient of the "Spirit of Six" award.

The award, given out annually to one cheer squad at both the boys and girls state tournaments across Classes B, A and AA, is given out by the South Dakota Peace Officers' Association, as a memorial for six cheerleaders from Rapid City who died in an airplane crash while returning to Rapid City from the boys Class B basketball tournament in 1968.

The "Spirit of Six" award is given out based on the cheer team's abilities in crowd control, sportsmanship, enthusiasm, behavior on and off the court, as well as dress at each state tournament.

"We were super excited and we didn't know what to think really right away," senior Kayleigh Royston said.

Members of the cheer team include: Jadah Aragon, Enna Castillo, Alyssa Gades, Emily Gades, Shaylin Knigge, Jaya Kurtenbach, Avery Mueller and Royston. The coach is Lexi Timm.

"We are just so proud of our fanbase and our whole community that backed us this whole time," Royston said. "Our coach is so excited and we love her so much."