YPS board honors repeat state champ pom squad

Members perform fight song at January meeting

Yukon High School’s back-to-back state champion Pom Squad was celebrated at the monthly Yukon Public Schools’ Board of Education meeting on Jan. 10 inside the YPS Administration Building, 600 Maple. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Proud parents filled the room Monday night as Yukon’s back-to-back state champion Pom Squad was celebrated for their accomplishments.

Yukon High School Pom Squad members performed a fight song for the audience during the monthly Yukon Public Schools’ Board of Education meeting.

The squad has won two consecutive Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association (OSSAA) state championships.

YHS Pom head coach Samantha Manke introduced squad members to school board meeting attendees.

“We love to be out in our community and show such much gratitude for all that we have been given,” Manke said. “These girls put in 12 hours of practice a week on a very regular basis – from April to June and from August back into March.

“They work super, super hard – and we are so proud of them and all they’ve accomplished.”

The 2022-23 Yukon Pom Squad members are: Nikki Beeson, Camdyn Bennett, Evann Boyd, Lainie Carlton, Alexa Combs, Isabel Fish, Ava Griffin, Carly Heitzman, Haven Huffines, Izabella Iyer, Emelyn Jarvis, Rayley Lambakis, Hillary Musselman, Alexa Palomino, Lyric Patterson, Chloe Rich, Tessa Ruzicka (captain), Ava Sherry, Kiersten Smith, Ava Thomas, Kaidence Tippens, and Caroline Weems.

“Miller Man” Keaton Cox was added to this year’s pom squad.

Sponsor is Courteney Hughes. Manke is head coach and Whitney Duty is assistant coach.

“We are so proud of you and what you’ve accomplished,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth told pom squad members. “You guys did great. It was so much fun.”

YPS Board Member Chris Cunningham thanked the state champion students for their performance – and those who raised them.

“Behind every athlete is a great set of parents,” Cunningham said. “That’s a culmination of probably thousands of hours of training and practice.

“It’s great students like that, great families and parents that make this school district great.”

Members of the Yukon High School Pom Squad perform a fight song at January’s Yukon Public Schools’ Board of Education meeting. The squad, coached by Samantha Manke, has won two straight state championships. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


Jeff Behymer will rejoin the five-member YPS Board of Education at its April board meeting. Behymer was elected without opposition to a five-year term as the Post 3 representative.

He will succeed Cunningham, who decided not to run for another term.

“We hate to see you go,” YPS Board President Leonard Wells told Cunningham.

Behymer served as the Post 4 board member from July 2016 to December 2019, when he resigned after moving to a home outside Post 4.

January’s board meeting was the last for YPS public information officer Peter Agnitsch, who accepted a new position with Boeing. His last day in Yukon was Jan. 12.

“Pete is really elevated that role in our district beyond what we anticipated,” Simeroth said. “We are sad to see him go.

“He’s done an excellent job and he has raised the level of expectations for that position.”

Among personnel items approved at the Jan. 9th meeting was the retirement of YHS Assistant Principal Lisa Megli, effective June 5.

Yukon School Board members accept a bounty of gifts for January’s School Board Appreciation Month observance: From left, Suzanne Cannon, Leonard Wells, Chris Cunningham, and Brian Coulson. Not pictured is Cody Sanders. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


In other YPS news, Yukon’s Pom and Cheer squads have invited all pre-kindergarten through sixth graders to participate in their annual “Basketball Spirit Clinic.”

Participants will learn a routine and a variety of cheer and dance skills such as jumps, turns and motions.

The students will perform during halftime of the Jan. 27th Yukon Millerettes’ basketball game against Westmoore in the YHS Auxiliary Gym, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.

Tickets for the game will be sold at the ticket booth just inside the main gym entrance (Door #6).

Deadline is Jan. 19 to register for the Yukon Pom and Cheer Basketball Spirit Clinic. Cost is $25, which includes one night of instruction, T-shirt and performance.

For more information, email Samantha.manke@yukonps.com