Cheerleaders crush competition


Rae Gray

SCHOOL SPIRIT: The JV team performs their routine for a panel of judges. The judges critique each team’s technique, routine difficulty, and stunt quantity to determine scores.

Lauren Joy, Dispatch Reporter

All three teams attended UCA Fall Regionals and won bids to nationals

When cheerleading comes to mind you may think of the football field and Friday night lights, but throughout winter, high school cheer teams continue competing in competitions to show off the routines they have been working on through the winter months.

“We practiced for many hours each day,” head coach Catherine McCallum said. “We condition inside and out of practice. Our routines are very rigorous. We would run through each routine perfecting every count, drilling the counts of the music and the movement of each step into our bodies and brains as each day went by, getting close to competition.”

Perfecting the routines is a large time commitment that pushes the team to perform at its absolute best.

“It requires an immense amount of perseverance, passion, and dedication,” McCalllum said. “These athletes worked very hard physically and mentally to prepare for their competitions.”

All of the athletes hope their tremendous amount of work will pay off in competition, so performing can be very stressful and nerve racking.

“The most difficult thing about competing is the stress that comes before it, the stress that is trying to make sure you hit your routine to the best, that way you don’t let your team down,” sophomore Varsity and Traditional Varsity team member Jenna DeVetter said.

Photo by: Rae Gray
ATTACK THE CROWD: Madison Noe calls out a cheer and engages the crowd. The JV team placed 2nd in the UCA Fall Regional competition.

The teams prepared their routine months in advance in order to perfect their various stunts, tumbling skills, and formations.

“Every year is different, no matter the circumstance,” McCallum said. “This year has been an extremely successful year due to the closeness of the team, their leadership, their support, {and the] love and constant encouragement they have shown one another through very tough but rewarding seasons so far.”

With the pressure so high, some athletes have individual rituals to help themselves be prepared for competitions.

“I personally prepare by getting in the mindset and trying to focus on my teammates rather than the routine so I don’t psych myself out,” freshman JV team member Olivia White said.

The UCA Fall Regionals competition is important to the team and coaches because it determines if the team will get a bid to The National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida where they have a chance to compete against the best teams in the country.

“This competition is extremely important because this is the very first time our routines are being shown to anyone other than our coaches,” White said. “It is also important to us because we can get a chance to move onto the [one of the]most prestigious competitions in this sport.”

On November 16, Bowie’s small JV Gameday Team, large Varsity Gameday Team, and their Varsity Co-ed Traditional team will compete against other high school cheer programs.

“My favorite part of competing is going onto the mat and knowing I’m not doing it alone and that I have my entire team to back me up and cheer each other on,” White said.

All three teams ended up getting a bid to advance onto nationals. The JV Gameday Team placed 2nd, the Varsity Gameday Team placed 11th, and the Varsity Co-ed Traditional team placed 1st.

“I think that all the teams did an outstanding job no matter what place we got because we all tried our hardest and we all had fun doing it,” DeVetter said. “So overall I think that all three teams did amazing. I love being a part of this special bond that the girls have together and I love being a part of all the traditions that they have.”