The South Varsity cheer team traveled to compete at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Fla. at the most wonderful place of all: Disney World.
Since everyone on the team wanted to go to Nationals to show off their routine they had to qualify at the UCA competition in December, and practicing four to five days a week to prepare.
Preparing for Nationals they had to modify and clean up the routine they performed at Regionals, which was in July, and State which was in September. This all led up to their departure for Nationals on Feb. 6.
KeeleyShaye Hill, senior, said, “Traveling to Nationals was a great opportunity to see all the different teams and getting to bond more with everyone on the team.”
At Nationals there are prelims, semi-finals and finals. The South cheer team got to skip prelims because there were not enough teams, so they automatically qualified for semi-finals, competing on Saturday, Feb. 8. After getting off the competition mat they knew the coaches were happy with there performance but still wanted to know their opinions.
Hill said, “After watching the video of our performance I asked the coaches of what they thought. I knew they would be brutally honest with me because I’ve known them for so long.”
The team did not qualify for finals, but placed 16th overall in the team’s first trip ever to Nationals.
Even though the cheer team did not make it to finals it will be something for them to cherish and be proud of for the rest of their lives. According to senior Sarah Hardin, it was something that bonded the team together and closer.
“Cheer team is the only team that practices, performs and competes with each other all year round; throughout our time together we develop such strong relationships and an opportunity to grow,” said Hardin. “Going to Nationals was not only a spectacular experience because we got to compete with the best teams in the country but because of this opportunity to do so with some of my best friends.”