Two local high school teams celebrated as champions in their division last week at the National High School Cheerleading Champions in Orlando, FL as a part of the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) competition. Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills had the crowd all on their feet as they were announced champions. They are the school’s varsity cheer team, winning first place in the super varsity tumbling division at UCA Nationals. This is the first time in the school’s history the team took the title. In the past, the team has placed top three previously three other times. They have competed 6 times at UCA, so this win has been a long time coming for the Trojans! They rightfully earned their medals and white jackets for their hard work and dedication in this sport.
Oak Ridge High School was not the only team coming back with medals. The cheer team at Liberty Ranch High School from Galt won first place in the super varsity non-tumbling division. This was their first year of competition, and they aced it! Even though it was their first year, the work started many years ago for most if not all of the cheerleaders. Commitment to cheer paid off for both teams!
These winning teams came from the West Coast, and although they placed first, there are actually very few West Coast teams participating in the UCA Nationals. In order to attend the UCA competition, they needed to compete and score high enough at the local level in order to advance. Additionally, over 20,000 athletes were in attendance, and 9 different countries competing to be the best in cheer.
The journey to medaling has been a long one. Athletes put in about 10 hours of practice a week while still cheering at sports events and partaking in other cheer competitions. All those hours of practice have to be crunched into approximately three minutes which can be stressful to decide which moves can delight judges. Many have been cheer-leading since they were little girls, and as Liberty Ranch High School cheerleader, Cassidy Brown says, “…to be national champions for our first year of competing is an absolutely incredible feeling. This was an amazing opportunity and an even better way to end my senior year of cheer.”