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Cheer places third at USA Spirit Regionals (VIDEO)

The varsity cheer team competed in the USA Spirit Regional Jr. Varsity Show Cheer Competition in Antioch, CA, Jan. 14. The team competed against five other teams in their division. After performing their routine and watching the other teams, they came in as third with a qualifying score and an invitation to USA Nationals in Anaheim, CA, at the Disneyland Resort, March 31-April 2.

Cheer Coach Annette Philips was very proud of her girls, whom she felt competed valiantly, despite losing two cheer members right before their season started.

“I am very pleased with the outcome of the results — having come into a competitive program with the loss of two members mid-season, resulting in such a grand success,” Phillips said. “I was hoping we would find the strength and courage within the team to focus on performing to the best of their ability, because they compete with girls two years older and with squads twice their size.”

According to Philips, the experience was a positive and learning event for the girls, as the competition was top-notch and respectable.

“The overall experience of the competition was great, the overall mood of the competition was positive,” Phillips said. “With stiff competitors, the girls kept the course and stayed very focused, United Spirit Association hosted a quality spirit competition.”

After the performance, the team was able to get a taste of what it is to compete at a high skill level, and now knows what is needed to improve, says Phillips.

“Areas that we need to improve in would have to be are our jumps; to compete and be competitive at this level these girls have to have the flexibility as a professional gymnast,” Phillips said. “Stretching daily at practice and fine tuning our jump timing will be top of our list. A routine full of tricks, dancing and tumbling for two minutes and thirty seconds requires a runner’s endurance and stamina, which is vital to the execution of all our stunts.”

Former FC student and cheerleader Kory Thompson, ’11, attended the competition, helping to prepare the girls for their performance. After witnessing their routine, Thompson admits that she felt nervous for her former teammates, as she had no control over their stunts or procedures like she did in the past.

“The girls met up to my exceptions, being a competitive cheerleader at varsity level watching them was really cool,” Thompson said. “It was a surreal feeling because I remember what it is like to perform, so watching them perform was crazy because, being on the floor as a cheerleader, you have control, and just watching there is nothing you can do but observe.”

Cheer Captain, Rayna Endicott, ’14, had a good experience at the competition, and noted that her team was able to accomplish their goal of qualifying.

“We accomplished our goal of qualifying, and placed third on top of that,” Endicott said. “I was excited how united we were and how God’s spirit filled all of us when we performed despite nerves.”

Endicott, along with Phillips, believes that, in order to improve, the team needs to focus on a few small details.

“Going into Nationals and our next competition, we need to focus more on the little details like timing and sharp motions,” Endicott said. “I think if we improve in our weak areas we will be able to rise above our past struggles.”

Cheerleader Callista Fries, ’15, enjoyed the thrill of competing for the first time in a year, as well as the camaraderie she was able to experience with her teammates.

“It was an awesome feeling competing for the first time in a year; it has been so long since I have performed in front of that many people and I forgot what it was like,” Fries said. “The opening basket toss was amazing and I had a great time bonding with the girls.”

Like Fries, Coach Phillips took away many memories from the event, most of which occurred outside of competition. Overall, the day was a success, according to Phillips.

“Looking back on my memories, I most enjoyed the growth and bonding that we did together,” Phillips said. “I loved sitting in the bleachers getting the girls ready with hair and makeup, having a small squad keeps us tight. That special one-on-one time with talking, preparing, sharing stories and creating memories is by far the most rewarding experience. Win or loose, what we take away from this season is the time we share together.”

For more information on cheer, read the Jan. 13 article, FC cheer squad to compete in first show of the year or the Nov. 8, 2011 article, 49ers game presents rare opportunity for cheerleader (VIDEO).

For more news, read the Jan. 19 article,
BRIEF: Students to wear, donate glasses.

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