MUSCATINE, Iowa–Since her high school days, cheer has played a big role in Mollie LaRue’s life. LaRue cheered for all four years of her high school career at Muscatine High School and also did two years of competitive cheer in North Liberty. For the past three years, LaRue has served as Muscatine High School’s head cheer coach, following a stint as assistant coach from 2014 to 2016. Prior to that, LaRue coached cheer for the Youth Sports Foundation in 2014-2015 and in 2019. She has also coached tumbling for the past seven years.
Though LaRue enjoyed all these opportunities to coach cheer, she wanted to bring all-star competitive cheer to Muscatine, which differs in some respects from school cheer. “All-star is a performance sport,” she explained: “Our athletes train for several months to perfect a two and a half minute routine. There aren’t any cheers or yelling in all-star cheer–it’s a routine filled with tumbling, stunts, jumps and dance.”
In the summer of 2021, LaRue opened Pearl City Cheer & Tumble, and the gym offered its first classes and its junior and senior competition teams. Though 90% of the youth who cheered had not done so competitively before, their senior team brought home remarkable honors, including two first place titles and one second place title.
This year, cheer and tumble athletes of all ages can participate in a variety of programs suited to their ages and levels of experience. Pearl City Cheer & Tumble offers four levels of tumbling (tiny tots, beginner, intermediate, and advanced), cheer 101 for younger athletes interested in starting cheer, as well as mini recreational, youth, junior, and senior competitive teams. the mini and youth seasons run from September through March and the junior and senior seasons run from June through May.
Currently, Pearl City Cheer & Tumble rents space for its classes and practices from Rock, Tumble & Roll Gymnastics at 701 Orange Street in Muscatine. However, they have started the process of building their own gym near Toyota of Muscatine and look forward to moving into their own space at the end of this summer or the beginning of this fall.
If you have an aspiring cheerleader or tumbler who would like to take classes at Pearl City Cheer & Tumble or try out for one of their teams, LaRue encourages you to reach out to her by email or by sending a Facebook message to the Pearl City Cheer & Tumble Facebook page.
With Pearl City Cheer & Tumble’s second junior and senior season underway and with its younger cheer programs poised to start soon, LaRue has high hopes for the gym’s future: “For me, the most rewarding part of running my own business is seeing the new skills my athletes achieve as well as the confidence they gain throughout the season. The excitement on their face or them running across the mat to hug a coach is always the highlight of night,” she shared. “I look forward to the potential growth of the program as well as the overall growth of cheerleading in Muscatine.”