In It To Win It: Cheer finishes with undefeated season


Provided by Danielle Weber

Cheer celebrates after the recent “Amazing Championship” competition

Olivia Bragg, Staff Writer

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Provided by Danielle Weber

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Coming Home” title_align=”separator_align_center”][vc_column_text]The plane’s engine hummed along with the anxiety of sophomore cheerleader Brittney Baker.. Confidence in the routine did not relax her nerves. She pressed play to “Frozen” and remembered back to calmer times with the team. As the movie came to a close, the ramp led her and the rest of the team to their awaiting parents. The banners and warm smiles let them know what they left too early to find out.

“When we finally found out we won … when we got back home off the plane, we were in awe because we went to the competition with two weeks of preparation.” Baker said.

Banners saying “Undefeated” and welcoming parents accompanied the team’s celebration, but cookie cake marked the beginning and end of celebration for the cheerleaders. Per the tradition of a cookie cake for every win, this is the fifth dessert enjoyed by the cheerleaders to celebrate their recent achievement at the “Amazing Championship” competition in California on March 30.

Their undefeated season began with triumph at National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) regionals in December and was followed by success at “Spirit Celebrations” which let them travel to the “Amazing Championship” and spend a day at Universal Studios for free.

“I was ecstatic that the girls received a bid to the Amazing competition in Hollywood,” head coach Danielle Weber said. “High schools hardly ever receive full-paid bids to cheer competitions so that alone was shocking and so exciting.”[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line”][vc_text_separator title=”Preparation” title_align=”separator_align_center”][vc_column_text]The three weeks the cheer team had to prepare were filled with a new, more challenging routine to match the more challenging division. Changed choreography, new stunts and harder tumbling accompanied this new routine. Simpler tricks like back tucks (a tumbling skill in which a person leaps into the air and then rotates once in the tucked position while airborne), turned into twisting in the back tucks and executing layouts (same as a back tuck but ending in a laid out position).

“We were a little skeptical if we were going to do as well because it was a harder division, but they have a drive,” Weber said. “They want it, they want to win it all, they want to do their best. We went in, hit a clean routine and that was all we needed to do.”

According to Weber, this work ethic led to the team hitting the routine cleanly.

“They are more confident in their routine and now it just runs like clockwork,” Weber said. “They have the skills, so they just had to work to hit it and they were fine. They have the confidence and talent this year.”[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line”][vc_text_separator title=”Celebration” title_align=”separator_align_center”][vc_column_text]Along with taking home the first place trophy, the team also took home a check for “Big Blue Goes Pink.” The “Big Blue Goes Pink” pep rally and shirt sales to fundraise led to an envelope with $1,250 being sent to Susan G. Komen to help in their quest to cure cancer.

“It felt great to raise so much money for Susan G. Komen,” sophomore Britney Baker said. “This year, with the [“Amazing Championship”] competition, we doubled what we normally raise.”

After celebrating the money donated and the first place victory, the cheerleaders will relax in practices with no more upcoming competitions.

“We competed in five, we’ve won five and we’re all done now, and we’re all glad that we’re done,” Weber said. “The girls are exhausted, they’ve worked hard all season and I think we just need some time off.”[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line”][vc_text_separator title=”It Never Stops” title_align=”separator_align_center”][vc_column_text]Even though the cheer team relaxes in practice now, they’re also looking to the summer for cheer camp in June in Oklahoma where competition begins again against other cheer squads.

“[We have] just some down time this summer and then we’ll reboot and start working for pep rallies in the fall. It never stops,” Weber said. “The varsity is in the process of learning a “home pom” routine that they will compete with at camp. We have starting stunting as well and using this time to condition for camp.”

According to Dodd and senior Alysanne Buettner, the cheerleaders finished feeling proud of all the work put in to succeeding in the more difficult competition in California and a perfect streak of victory throughout the season.

“We felt really accomplished,” Dodd said. “We had an undefeated season and to compete our last competition in the advanced division was really a challenge for us to pull off. We weren’t really sure how it was going to go, but we all had our heads in the game and won.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]