Cheer prepares for national competition

Close loss at state motivates team to persevere


Mya Joseph

The varsity cheer team practices their routine for nationals during a third period practice on Friday, Jan. 25.

The varsity cheer team competed in the UIL state competition on Thursday, Jan. 17 winning first in band dance in the state of Texas and second in the co-ed division, with the overall score result placing them at second in the competition.

The results of the UIL competition did not lower their excitement about desiring to place first in the national cheerleading competition. They will be competing Feb. 8-9 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The team has adapted to a rigid training that focuses on the team weaknesses.

“We practice six to eight hours a week which is two hour practices but we put in a lot of work because it’s in Florida and we don’t want to embarrass ourselves [at nationals],” senior captain Clara Raper said. “Everyone this year will be calm and focused and will be giving 150 percent [to this competition].”

The cheer team is not only working to improve their choreography but also their strength as a team. Bonding as a team and not letting any outside forces distract them on their performance is a goal they are trying to achieve.

“I think we need to work together as a team,” senior captain Lachland Lloyd said. “Once we start improving ourselves, we start encouraging [our teammates] to improve themselves. That’s something that our team has to improve [on] and if everyone [is] improving and constantly working hard, we’ll be good.”

The varsity cheer placed second in nationals last year. This year, they are determined to win first at nationals and are motivated to succeed in the competition.

“Our quote this year is ‘get your head in the game’ from High School Musical,” head cheer coach Jill Van Klink said. “We were second place last year at nationals for about a .5 and we really want to make everyone focus, fully tune in and [have] everyone “get their head in the game” [so we can] come out on top this year.”