Cheerleaders Compete In First In-Person Competition Of Year

The+cheerleaders+ride+a+charter+bus+for+their+first+in-person+competition+of+the+year+at+UIL+State+in+the+Fort+Worth+Convention+Center+Jan.+15.

Courtesy of Shannon Lindsey

The cheerleaders ride a charter bus for their first in-person competition of the year at UIL State in the Fort Worth Convention Center Jan. 15.

Brooke Miller, Reporter

Jan.15 the cheer team competed against 58 teams in their first in-person competition at UIL State in the Fort Worth Convention Center and didn’t make it to finals for the first time.

“While I was sad that we didn’t make the finals this year by one spot, I honestly was beyond proud of the girls,” cheer coach Shannon Lindsey said. “I truly thought they put their best performance on the mat in prelims. While we had some minor mistakes, those are things that we can easily fix before we take the Nationals mat.”

Prelims is typically three separate performances: band chant, cheer and fight song, but due to COVID-19, cheerleaders performed all three at once with a short break in between.

“Having to do pretty much everything at once on the mat definitely made us tired,” junior Koral Amador said. “We have to get our stamina up before Nationals, but I think we have what it takes.”

There was a restriction on the number of spectators and audience allowed in the arena.

“I truly believe not having an audience is what affected us the most,” junior Kylee Rutledge said. “We didn’t have the energy from the crowd to feed off of.”

Due to COVID-19, the cheer team was not given permission to spend the night before the competition like previous cheer teams.

“I think it made a huge difference not getting to spend the night surrounded by our team members considering every year we have made finals except this one,” junior Isabel Ybarra said. “We don’t just stay the night to spend the school’s money by staying in a hotel. We have time to practice and prepare for our competition rather than pulling into the convention center an hour before we compete.”

 The cheer team is preparing for Nationals which will take place in March.

I am looking forward to Nationals with this team,” Lindsey said. “We have so many new people competing with us this year that, now that they have one live competition under their belt, can be truly amazing at Nationals. We have competed in two virtual competitions already this season but it just isn’t the same as a live competition. There are no bright lights, no judges sitting directly in front of you, no professional photographers in a virtual competition.” 

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