Previously printed in The Tribune, Volume 11, Issue 4, March 2014, at Liberty High School in Henderson, NV.
Liberty’s very own competition cheer squad has qualified for nationals.
On Jan. 11, 2014 they competed against four other teams: Legacy, Sierra Vista, Durango, and Northwestern Career and Technical Academy.
They ended the competition coming in 2nd place, just below Legacy High School.
The judges gave them an end score of 78.33 points with penalty. Without penalty, they would have ended with an 81.33.
To qualify for nationals, a team must receive a score of 75 points or more from the judges.
“It was really blood-rushing just hearing liberty get the bid for nationals,” Kassidy Rivera (12) said.
The cheer squad hit a perfect routine with all stunts and tumbling. Unfortunately, they did get a warning on their music, as well as a penalty for an illegal stunt.
Their music went over by three seconds, putting them at a 2 minute, 33 second routine. Luckily, the judges decided to not penalize them for it.
When asked what it was like being called to the judges table, coach Jennifer Mercer said, “As I was walking over there I didn’t know what to expect.”
Also, in their pyramid they got a three-point penalty because one of their halves on the side didn’t have a back spot.
“For the music penalty, we tried to talk about it being the crowd and how the crowd was too loud to hear and for the other we didn’t try to fight that one a lot,” Mercer said. “He showed us in the book where the rule was and how we had disobeyed it because of our division.”
At their next competition, on Feb. 8 against two other teams, Sierra Vista and California High School, they placed 2nd again.
The squad performed well, considering they gained one girl and lost three, restructuring the routine in just two weeks.
“I feel like we did good,” Janea Tyler (11) said. “We learned our routine in a short time, so I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot as a team.”
Their scores seemed to remain the same between the two competitions.
At this competition, they lost 0.5 points for a bobble in the opening stunt sequence, as well as 1.0 points for a tumbling pass touching the floor out of the tuck.
Their scores with deductions were 78.83 points and without deductions it was 80.33 points.
After this competition, the squad’s next stop is nationals. They will be held in Anaheim, California on march 28-30.
“With nationals, if possible, it is a big goal and dream to make it to the second day, but if not, it’s always nice to place higher up,” Bailey Berlien (10) said.
To get ready for the big trip, the team is hoping to have all their girls back and healed.
Starting the first week in march, the squad is making changes in the routine.
The first thing they will do is start to make a new stunt sequence and make it more difficult, which is already underway and being worked on in practices.
After, they will add in the other girls back to every section of the performance. In doing that, they will also spice up their dance section.
Next, they will make transitions and tumbling more appealing to the eye
Lastly, they are going to change the cheer to make it more energetic.
Putting together the whole routine and cheer is the hardest part.
“I’m excited to have another road trip with my team and make new memories with everyone,” Tyler said.
This hard working team is pumped and ready to get going on the routine so they can have a successful journey at nationals.
By: Amanda Slee