Stuntin’ on the competition

Varsity competition cheer team competes at Nationals

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Photo provided by Millard West Cheer

The varsity Competition cheer team poses in front of a banner they created to resemble the Disney feel that they typically would get at an in-person competition.

Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla , Editor-in-Chief Catalyst Online

On Sunday, March 14 at 10 a.m., the Millard West Varsity Competition Cheer team competed virtually for their Nationals preliminary competition for this season due to COVID-19. 

During this performance, the team competed in the Small Varsity Game-Day division against teams from all across the nation while preparing for the remainder of the season. 

“For me, competing virtually feels pretty similar to in person,” sophomore Haley Dickmeyer said. “With filming our routines, I still get nervous for the performance, but I feel more comfortable since we practice and perform in the same gym.”

Because of the virtual aspect due to COVID, the team was given a small window opportunity to record the submission and have it sent  to be judged on April 5. 

With the various traditional cheer aspects involved, such as a fight song and sideline cheers, the team strived to place in the top five at the competition once again this season. 

The Game Day division gives the girls a chance to showcase what traditional cheerleading is all about. The teams in this division get judged on their ability to lead the crowd, gameday skill incorporations, motion and overall choreography.

It begins with a band dance, then is followed by a situational football cheer where the team will cheer on the offense or defense. At the end of this routine, a dance is performed incorporating motions and jumps to the Millard West fight song. 

“Overall, I think that our performance was really good,” sophomore Delanie Pietryga said. “As a team, we really came together and accomplished another great performance that has the potential to place us hopefully higher than last season.”

If the team advances to finals, they can choose to re-record the routine or submit the same one during a three day span after.

“The Game Day prelim routine we submitted after three takes was overall very strong,” assistant coach Brittney McAllaster said. “We are going to still practice and perfect the routine the best we can, so that if we do make finals we can tweak what we need to to get a better performance such as our energy.”

With this first performance in mind, the team will most likely record again and try to clean up the small details as far as motions with arm placements in order to improve their overall score with technique. 

For the teams final performances in the varsity divisions for Nationals, they have been practicing more than the rest of the season with one thing in mind: white jackets.

With 11 National wins under their belt, the team, as well as the entire program, will continue to move forward throughout the rest of the season in hopes of going back to back.