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Super squad secures USA Regional Competition victory

With the combined effort of the JV and varsity cheerleaders in their newly formed super squad, the team outperformed rivals to win first place at the United Spirit Association (USA) Regional Competition at Clovis North Educational Center, Nov. 8.

Cheer competed in the Varsity Show Intermediate division, not determined by size, against five other schools including Clovis West High, the USA national champions in the division last year, and Buchanan High.

“Although we have competed against large squads in the past, this competition was more significant because all the schools were local,” senior captain Lindsay Bolduc said. “It is awesome to win against all the big schools in our area, especially since we were not expecting to win.”

The cheerleaders scored an average of 90 points out of 100 by three judges, which pushed them over the 80-point benchmark to qualify for the USA National Competition in Anaheim, March 27-29.

“I felt like the girls did an outstanding job for this early in the season,” coach Katie Mendenhall said. “My goal for this team has always been to compete and be among the best in our area, state and nation. I am confident that these girls will have a successful year as long as we keep our focus and keep working hard.”

An inverted flyer, an illegal stunt and other penalties subtracted points from the squad’s score. Despite the mistakes, the judges loved the creativity, solid stunts and energy that the girls displayed, calling it “action-packed and fun to watch,” according to Mendenhall.

?They truly are an amazing group of young ladies,” Mendenhall said. “We have set a standard that even we will have to keep up.”

Although the point deductions failed to jeopardize the cheerleaders’ first place award, Mendenhall recognized areas for improvement before nationals.

?We still have some minor things to work on and perfect before nationals in March where the level of competition will rise immensely, such as tumbling timing and adding to our stunts to give an even more difficult routine,” Mendenhall said. “We will continue to prepare and not let our guard down.”

The cheerleaders competed as a super squad for the first time at the USA Regional Competition since they merged JV and varsity teams.

Although the fusion of inexperienced freshmen and veteran upperclassmen daunted some cheerleaders, Shelby Decker, ’11, overcame her suspicions and felt the squad come together as a family during the competition.

?At first I didn’t really like the idea of everyone competing together because it’s hard to have everyone hit everything at the same time, but as we got closer to the competition I started enjoying having a large team,” Decker said. “I think we were all really nervous at first, but in the end we came together as a team and showed the glory of God.”

Despite the learning curve of the large squad and awkward positioning, senior Nikki Erickson feels the cheerleaders synchronized well to sweep the competition.

?I was kind of skeptical at first because I thought having a super squad might be weird, but now I see how well we mesh together and how successful we are,? Erickson said. “It was a really great feeling to be considered the underdog and come out on top.?

The super squad will next compete at the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders Capital Classic at Capital Christian High School in Sacramento, Nov. 15. The cheerleaders will first perform at 11:45 a.m., followed by a critique session with judges before a second performance at 1:15 p.m. to improve their score.

For the complete competition schedule, visit the cheer Web site. For more information on cheer, visit the Nov. 7 article,
Cheer regionals challenge super squad or e-mail Katie Mendenhall.

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  • B

    Bree AinleyMay 17, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Manda Panda, you are so talented! I’m so proud of you! 🙂

    Reply
  • S

    Sarah IngersolMay 17, 2010 at 6:59 am

    You are an amazing dancer. I am so glad you joined cheer this year.

    Reply
  • L

    Lisa LumeyaMay 17, 2010 at 6:59 am

    You are so amazing and I’m so glad you came back to Fresno for your senior yearr…I love you(:

    Reply
  • K

    Katie BarisicMay 17, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I think you did a great job in the talent show, Amanda. You were really amazing.

    Reply