It’s appropriate the Carson High cheerleaders showed the attributes of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success when it came to the reward they earned.
The cheerleaders ticked off the typical attributes they had to show that any team has to have when it comes to reaching an elite level. Emily Jaeger said it best when she stated “no sleep” when commenting on what it took for the CHS cheerleaders to be successful.
All the hard work the squad put in was rewarded when the CHS cheerleading squad placed third in the nation in the Co-Ed Varsity Show Cheer Non-Tumbling Advanced Division at the USA Spirit Nationals this past weekend in Anaheim, Calif. Carson placed behind champion El Capitan and second place Arleta.
“It’s crazy,” Jade Chan said. “When you think about it we just made history for Carson High School.”
The squad advanced to Saturday’s finals for the first time after finishing as one of the top four teams in Friday’s preliminaries. The squad performed a two-and-a-half minute routine that include a cheer, jumps, dance, stunts and pyramids. The squad had its routine ready for nationals since November, but it was far from a finished product.
The team constantly had to make adjustments. The team lost three cheerleaders on the way to nationals due to an injury, grades and behavior. “When that type of thing happens we have to patch up the team,” CHS cheer coach Sheila Story said. “It happens in every high school sport.”
The squad also made adjustments to its routine on Thursday night before Friday’s preliminaries and then made more adjustments on Friday night after the preliminaries.
“The judges didn’t like our dance,” said Story about Friday’s preliminaries. But the adjustments the team made to its dance paid off as it improved its score from 89.89 out of a 100 on Friday to 90.03 on Saturday.
After a flawless routine on Friday, the team did have one one-point deduction on Saturday. But Story noted “all four teams that went to finals dropped something.”
The deduction came when the team faltered on a co-ed stunt during the dance. The team also performed elite stunt sequences and various co-ed stunts during the routine.
Story said the team’s score was helped by the fact it now has four boys on the squad which allowed it to do more co-ed stunts. One of those boys is Axel Wall, who put together the music for the routine as part of his senior project.
“It was stressful,” Wall said. But about the result, Wall added, “it was so rewarding, was extremely rewarding.”
The sacrifices the team made included practicing at 6:30 a.m. over Christmas break at Carson High’s Morse Burley Gym. There was also the financial sacrifice as each member of the team spent $800 to go to nationals, Story said.
Also at nationals was Damonte Ranch, who took first in the Co-Ed Varsity Show Cheer division. Both the CHS and Damonte teams were there to support each other throughout the entire competition.
CHS team members are: Wall, Quintyn Madsen, Jaeger, Sadie Jessee, Alicia Singleton, Breanna Nurry, Robin Steinecke, Eddy DeLeon, Isabel Ramos, Teanna Calloway, Brooke Lamreaux, Melanie Sepulveda, Josey Steinecke, Isabel Embro, Liberty Hoefling, Hayden Breiter, Audrey Cook, Haley Kluck, Shelby Friel, Tara Wright, Lexi Embro, Andrew Morris, Jade Chan and coaches Story and Elizabeth Hickson. in the Co-Ed Varsity Show Cheer Non-Tumbling Advanced Division behind champion El Capitan and second place Arleta.