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Cheer Named National Champions


Photo courtesy of Sofia Attaguile

Next to the NCA trophy, the varsity cheer squad shows off their medals and NCA jackets. The team competed in the Game Day category against teams all over the country, ultimately placing first. “We felt so rewarded and happy that we finally had our reward for winning,” senior captain Sofia Attaguile said.

Rachana Kommineni, Reporter

After months of preparation and perfecting their routine, the varsity cheer team was named Game Day Varsity NCA National Champions in March. They were also awarded the technical excellence award and best mascot. In normal years, the team would have traveled out of state and performed their routine in person, however, this year they filmed their routine and sent it to be judged.

“We had 16 teams in our division and as the announcer was saying each place I got more and more nervous as he got closer to first,” senior cheer captain Sofia Attaguile said. “When I heard him announce our name I looked around [on the Zoom] and saw the excitement of my team and the joy that was brought to everyone and I got chills.  It was definitely one of the highlights of my high school career and I couldn’t think of a better way to end my high school cheer career.”

As one of the captains, senior Jackie Covas said that she definitely felt stressed at times, considering the captains were the ones calling the shots. Regardless of the pressure, Covas loves being the captain because she said she feels great knowing that she is able to part of the leadership group that led them to this win. 

“We always made sure to make everyone feel included in the decision making so that the girls loved the routine and loved performing it, and it truly showed in the final performances,” Covas said. “It feels great knowing I’m able to lead such amazing and strong girls.”

With restrictions and protocols, the team did not start practices till the second month of school. Junior Sienna Wechsler said that they started early to make sure that they have enough time to learn and perfect everything. They also had to wear masks and had many precautions which made it much harder. 

“We weren’t used to practicing in masks and it made our first few months much more exhausting due to the constant yelling, tucking and stunting we had to do with masks on,” Wechsler said. 

The girls practiced every day for nationals, they spent early release days to their advantage and put more time into our practices. They sent in videos of areas in need of critiquing when they could not go in for practices due to the weather and pandemic.

“With all the restrictions this year we had no pep rallies, so we started learning our routines during football season which would be September of 2020,” Attaguile said. “We would practice before football games, over Christmas break and even at games. We also did a lot of running and conditioning to help strengthen our endurance and stamina for the routines.”

This year was the first time that cheer advanced to nationals, and according to junior Sophia Franco, the cheer team was extremely determined to win, since they had never been to nationals before. 

“It was so rewarding to take back our winning title after our loss at UIL, so it was a big deal that we finished our season strong,” Franco said.