Competition Cheer Takes First Place at District Competition


Michelle Borja, Staff Reporter

On the 31st of March, 2021, Liberty Competition Cheer took the 1st place title of Districts Champs. The whole team underwent many changes and hard work to get to where they are. Competition never stuck to one routine and continued to improve their performance. They practiced and prepared after every competition to make their routine spotless for the judges.

“Our team has worked really hard this year. We have had to rearrange the routine several times sometimes even every day. This helps us see what looks good and what we can do to make it better.” said senior Gracie Rodney.

“We would practice almost every day of the week minus Sundays. Our coaches would push us and motivate us as hard as they could. We always were changing our dance to improve it and make it better. We fixed everything that the judges pointed out in our routine,” said junior Brialea Smith.

“Like any other year, we make changes and fix our routine accordingly to what our coaches think will score higher in the next competition,” said senior Jenna Jensen.

Winning 1st place at Districts surprised some of the girls, but others were not so surprised since they expected their hard work would pay off.

“I’m not surprised we won because we’ve worked really hard this season and are still working very hard as a team,” said senior Kiana Zanders.

“Surprised? Yes! We compete against some really good teams and have the hardest district/ regional skill-wise teams beat us easily, but we go clean and we win that way!” said senior Jessalyn Robinson.

“During Districts, I will say that I was surprised that we won 1st place. Not for lack of hard work but rather we were up against really really good teams. I do believe we worked really hard in order to mentally compete with the others,” said Jensen.

The team has also been incorporating new skills and acts for the Regional Competition. The competition team takes constructive criticism from their judges to help spruce up their routine. Coach Waddle and Coach Shrank listen to the judges closely to make sure their routine is spotless and best shown. They do everything in their power to coach the team to success and gain more points towards their next competition.

“For regionals, we are hoping to add some more tumbling skills,” said Rodney.

“We’ve been adding things to our routine to make it more energetic and gain more points,” added Zanders.

“We always try our best to incorporate new skills but a lot of the time it boils down to how much time do we have left to execute those new skills,” said Jensen.

With 12+ hours of practice every week, sometimes extending into the weekend, Liberty Competition Cheer are more than ready to compete at Regionals. The hours provided show their determination and love for competition, which is astonishing given how much they practice their routine over and over again to achieve perfection.

“We normally have two-hour practices Monday through Friday but sometimes we extend these practice times. We have also been practicing on the weekends and all through spring break,” said  Rodney.

“I know it’s many hours but I don’t think we need any more practices to prepare for regionals, we’re more so just ready and excited to compete,” said Zanders.

“We have practiced so much, at least 2 hours a day, and the most has been almost 4 hours. I think we will be able to perform the best we can at regionals,” said junior Brialea Smith.

During this season, injuries did occur. It takes a really good prepared team to overlook those challenges and adjust to them. However, Liberty competiton cheer is not new to this and made sure beforehand to know what to do before it even happens. Liberty competition cheer also learns from those injuries and mistakes to further prevent them. Learning from them also helped lead to their victory of Districts. The team was very well prepared and has always practiced for the worst, which makes them very good and adaptable. 

“We had a few injuries and that definitely put us in a sticky position. I think winning Districts with said injuries goes to show how hard we’ve worked,” said senior Jenna Jensen.

“A few girls including myself have had injuries some being minor and others being major but even with injuries were always prepared and ready to go,” said senior Kiana Zanders.

“We had two big injures this year our main flyers at the beginning, and mine at the end of the season. It really just made us be more careful at practices and out of cheer so we can prevent injuries,” said senior Jessalyn Robinson.

“Injuries just made us realize how much everyone really means to the team. If one person gets hurt it affects everyone. But we always make it work. It did help us,” added Smith.

In their next competition, Regionals, if they had scored 2nd or higher, then they would proceed to States. With all their training, hard work, and determination, they were on their way to compete with confidence. Sadly, however, all good things must come to an end. 

“We all worked extremely hard to win first place at Districts. We were upset about getting 3rd at Regionals but that’s still an accomplishment. We won because we all pushed each other and hyped each other up. We were tight in the motions and had great projection for our cheer,” said Smith.

Only losing by a few points on April 7th, 2021, Liberty did not make the cut. They scored 3rd place and were not admitted into States. The girls said they still had fun but were still sad and disappointed. Despite the loss, they all maintained good sportsmanship and allowed this loss to be a lesson for the next season.