Panure, McCole Compete for Green Bay Elite

Braxton Panure, center, and  Bethany McCole, right, compete for Green Bay Elite Cheerleading Company.

Braxton Panure, center, and Bethany McCole, right, compete for Green Bay Elite Cheerleading Company.

Colleen Mortell, Staff Writer

Competitive all-star cheerleading is a growing industry in today’s world; however, most people are not even aware that this sport exists.

Junior Bethany McCole and senior Braxton Panure are competitive cheerleaders for a local gym called Green Bay Elite.  Over their years cheering, they have won national titles and were finalists in the World Championship of All-star Cheerleading.

All-star cheerleading differs from high school cheering in several ways.  Competitive cheerleaders do not “cheer” on the sidelines for a sports team.  They practice year-round to perfect a two minute and thirty second routine that they will compete around the country about ten times throughout the competition season.  The season usually begins around October and finishes in the end of April.

Teams are categorized by levels 1-5.  All team members are evaluated by their skill-level, work ethic, and dance abilities.

Green Bay Elite (GBE) first began in 1999 by Cherokee Greendeer, and she opened a second facility in Appleton last year.  GBE has several teams throughout the two gyms with boys and girls of all different ages. McCole and Panure are members of their small senior level 5 team, Lime.

Panure has been a cheerleader at GBE for nine years.  She says the age differences throughout the team actually helps them bond.

“It amazes me that I can tell you anything about anyone. We are all crazy teenage girls with one passion, cheer,” Panure said.

Coach Greendeer believes Panure is hard-working, focused and dedicated to her team and the sport of all-star cheerleading.

“She is very humble, but Braxton is a rock star when she hits the floor!  The immediate love for the sport is shown when she competes!”  Greendeer said.

McCole has been cheerleading for four years.  She started as a gymnast practicing in the same gym as Green Bay Elite, but from watching the cheerleaders practice, deep down she knew she had a love for cheerleading and joined the sport.

“Gymnastics was way too serious for me. You didn’t really get to express yourself. Cheerleading has taught me the feeling of accomplishment and love. I’ve learned to fight for what I want and that things don’t just get handed to me,” McCole stated.

Greendeer admitted that McCole is one of the best athletes at the gym.

“Bethany is a major leader of her team and will encourage all athletes as much as she possibly can!  She is a standout athlete at GBE and many strive to be her!”  Greendeer said.

This year a brand new event, the Champion’s League, has been introduced to the world of cheerleading.  This is a competition where the best of the best compete head to head. The competition will be held in Atlanta, April 12-13. Many people say the Champion’s League is a cheerleading version of the Hunger Games.


The Champions League will be filmed and then shown in theaters four days later.  The film will only be played for one night in movie theaters all over the country.  There will be premieres of the movie  in Green Bay and Appleton.

“The Champion’s League will definitely be the highlight of my year. I’m looking forward to the competitors because there will be more teams that we typically don’t compete against. A new challenge is always exciting,” McCole said.

Most teams will end their season at the World Championship of Cheerleading which is held at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  In order to compete, the team must be level 5 and be awarded a bid.  Lime will be competing this year after winning a bid at WSF Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, this past December.

Lime has previously competed at the World Competition four times. The team first competed in 2009 and placed sixth.  In 2010, Lime brought home the bronze medal after winning third place.  They placed fourth in 2012,and sixth in 2013.

This year’s worlds competition will be held the same weekend as Academy Ball, April 26-27.

“Since it’s my senior year, I’m really looking forward to making memories with everyone. I want to give it my all and end my cheer career with a bang,” Panure said.