Varsity Co-Ed Cheer gives it their all at Nationals
By Dani Martinez
“We are Legend!”
The team is huddled together, sweat beads on their foreheads in anticipation. It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for, and that moment is finally here.
“WE ARE LEGEND!”
The painstaking hours of rehearsals, the drilling of the routine, pep talk after pep talk, it’s all leading up to this.
“WE ARE LEGEND!”
This is it. Legend’s name has been announced on the floor. This is their biggest competition of the season, and also the last. They step onto the mats, as the crowd cheers and the bright lights excite the team. This is it. Legend is about to perform at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships.
“TITANS in the House,You know!”
Exciting. Unforgettable. Life-changing. The UCA National Cheer Championship is known as the most prestigious cheerleading championship in America. The very best cheer teams from all around the country compete at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. In the world of high school cheerleading, this is the very top. If there is any place to bring it, it’s on this stage.
For the Varsity co-ed team, this is the competition they have worked for all year. It is their chance to represent Legend on a nationwide scale. It’s bigger, and it’s better, and the stakes are definitely higher. They definitely brought their A game, placing better than they ever have before. They made it all the way to the championship finals, and placed Legend’s name on the map, as they are now ranked in the top ten of the entire nation.
“My favorite moment was when they were announcing awards and to hear that it was our team that placed ten in the nation,” junior Kyle Ricks said.
Finding out their amazing placement at their competition evoked a whirlwind of emotions for everyone on the team.
“When we found out that we made it into finals at Nationals, everyone was jumping and screaming, some were even crying. It was a great feeling to know that the routine we just did wasn’t the last one, we had one more chance to prove everyone wrong,” freshman Natalie Hartman said, as she also recalled the team’s favorite moment at Nationals.
The road to Nationals was not an easy one. It was a long, winding road that the team embarked on in August. It has taken an unimaginable amount of work, but it was that dedication and that drive that led them to the top.
“There was a lot of early mornings and late nights filled with full out routines and conditioning,” sophomore Kasha Wright said about the tough road to Nationals.
Practices four days a week is exhausting physically and emotionally as it is, and cheer had to be at school at 6 every morning as well.
“Throughout the season we practiced a lot, many of [ the practices ] were in the morning at like 6 and they made us hate ourselves but we pushed,” Ricks said.
Another major aspect in their immense success at Nationals this year was the change of mentality as there were higher expectations not only from their coaches, but also from each other.
“A lot of hard work went into this routine. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and what made this routine great was all of the determination,” Hartman said.
They find their motivation, from each other and strong commitment that they have for the sport.
“My team is a dedicated group of athletes with a passion for what we do,” Wright said.
Varsity Cheer did better than they ever have before at Nationals this year, and they attribute their success to each other. They built a team, and a routine they were proud of. Their tenth place at a national championship was accurate of their hard work all year long. The team set out to achieve many things this season, but placing top ten in one of the highest ranked competitions is something that they could never have imagined.
“Honestly after all the time we spent together from camp, to all of our practices, and competitions, we are a family,” Ricks said.