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Cheer wins state championship, prepares for nationals

Varsity won spirit awards for crowd leading, band dance and fight song

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Earlier this month the varsity cheer squad placed first overall in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Spirit State Championship in the co-ed squad category. In addition to the title, they secured awards for best cheer, best band dance and best band song.

The competition was held from Jan. 11-13 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Teams from different regions of Texas each participated in their divisions, either in co-ed teams or in an all- girl team.

“It’s exciting to see the kids succeed at what they’re good at, I know that they’re incredibly talented and all the work that [they put] into it,” head cheer coach Jill Van Klink said. “Everybody was kind of in it for different reasons but they all together came and accomplished their goals.”

The team focused in practice to make sure their routines were spotless and often sacrificed their personal schedules.

“We practiced a lot [for the competition],” senior co-captain Scarlet Allen said. “We’d show up for practice and run through everything, so 10 minutes on one mat, 15 on the other and we’d run [the routine] like how it was in the practice room so we wouldn’t be frazzled when we [performed].”

The next step for the cheer team is focusing on preparing to compete at the National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC) on Feb. 10-11 at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. They were able to advance to nationals after competing in the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) regional competition and winning a bid.

“We’re preparing for [nationals] like any other competition,” senior Trinity Kulow said. “We practice all the time and brought in some new boys, so we’ll have more stunts and tumbling.”

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Cheer wins state championship, prepares for nationals