“F-A-L-C-O-N-S, let’s go Falcons!” HR cheer team places tenth at nationals



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The HR cheer team performs their national routine in Orlando, Florida. “The competition is much bigger than any of the competitions in Colorado and it is jam-packed,” said Alyssa Hicks, head cheer coach. Video courtesy of Darren Withey


   The cheer team has been working all season to prepare for the UCA NHSCC at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The team competed at nationals on Feb. 8, 2020 and received 10th place. “We did well,” Ava Taylor, senior, said. “Our routine was one of the best we performed and we had a great time.”

   It was an exciting moment for the team but also sentimental because it was the seniors’ last performance. Taylor said, “It’s crazy knowing it was our last time going out on the mat.”

   They had to compete in league and state before attending nationals. At state, they placed 10th and at league they placed 4th. With these results, they earned a bid and were off to nationals.

   The last time they attended the huge competition was in 2018. Taylor said, “We didn’t go a couple of the other years because we felt as though we wouldn’t be tough competitors, despite getting a bid to go each year.” This year they were ready to compete.

   The ability to compete at a high level was needed when they went to nationals, and it all started with the practices. They added extra Saturday practices as well as morning practices at 5:15 two times a week. Those practices have been very productive with high energy, mentioned Taylor. She said, “We want to perform well, so we’ve been adding in stuff and doing our best to keep good attitudes.”

   One of the goals for the season was to finish in the top ten at nationals, which they were able to accomplish. Alyssa Hicks, head cheer coach, said, “We want to rebuild the program at HRHS and be able to compete with the schools in our district and league.” 

   Another focus was getting through difficult times. Hicks said, “We lost two teammates to injury and had a few other broken bones.” These obstacles were not going to get in the way of their performance. “We just want to see them do their best,” said Hicks.

The cheer team practices and perfects their routine before they compete.  Ava Taylor, senior, said, “Competition days are full focus mode. We go in ready to work in a fast past manner and are serious about getting the job done.” Photo courtesy of Cayleigh Waddell 

   The coaches were excited heading into the national competition. Hicks said, “I’m just looking forward to the team having fun and showing off the hard work they have done all season.” The girls were also really excited about going to compete at nationals. Cayleigh Waddell, sophomore, said, “For some of the girls, like the seniors, it’s going to be their last time doing the routine, so I’m excited to make every moment count.”

   The team will carry this momentum into their next season as they are looking to make it to finals at State. To achieve this goal, Hicks said, “We are going to improve by working hard over the summer at camp and practice.”  

   While working over the summer and during the season, it’s important to enjoy that time. Taylor said, “It can be rushed and stressful on practice and competition day, but just remember to take it all in because you don’t know the next time you will be able to go back to such an amazing season.”

Kara Lyons, Staff Reporter