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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Bringing home the gold times two

Varsity cheer team brings home multiple National Championships for the first time ever
Stefanie Lane
Smiling with excitement, senior Haili Foster celebrates with her teammates after winning their second first place trophy at Nationals. Foster has been on MWVC for four years now and this will be the first time in history that they will be leaving with not only one but two white jackets. ”This truly was a dream come true,“ Foster said. “All season long we have been working day in and day out for this moment. Hearing our name called out for first place in Game Day and Tumbling was such an exciting and joy-filled moment.”

Every year in February, the Millard West varsity competition team competes in Orlando, Florida for a chance to become National Champions. The 2023-2024 team proved themselves to be unlike any team before by winning not one but two white jackets. 

The team competes in the Division one Game Day as well as division one non-building traditional, also known as the tumbling division. For the first time ever in school history, the team brought home  a white jacket in Game Day. They have been competing in Game Day since 2020, but have never won before. 

During the week Dance team goes to Nationals, the cheer team takes that as a time to perform for the last time in front of a crowd before they head to Nationals. The Game Day performance was exceptional, but during the tumbling routine, senior Erin Matthews was injured. Leaving the team to reconstruct the full routine the day before heading to Florida. 

“My daughter is on the dance team, so the night Erin was injured, I was in Florida at Nationals, which made it even more stressful,” head coach Stefanie Lane said. “I immediately got to work in my hotel, reblocking both routines from afar and sending new plans to the assistant coaches. The team held an emergency practice the day after Erin’s injury to work through the new changes. This team is extremely experienced, so I trusted that they could handle the quick changes, even so close to Nationals.”

As hard as it was to lose such a valuable athlete, the team held practice for hours and rebuilt it to a winning routine.

“Winning both was such a huge accomplishment for the program,” senior Ayda Matya said. “We have won the tumbling division 12 times, this year being the 13th but this was the first Game Day jacket ever.”

Winning multiple divisions is something most teams never experience, due to there being over 1,000 teams competing and only 70 white jackets handed out. 

“My reaction when we won was pure joy,” senior Haili Foster said. “Seeing everything we worked for pay off is the most rewarding feeling. Knowing that we made history made me so proud of myself and all of the other girls.”

The team remained focused and strong even through all of the hard work. Without their determination throughout the whole season, the team would not be standing where they are; as double National Champions.

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About the Contributor
Delaney Lueck
Delaney Lueck, Features Editor
Delaney is a senior and this is her first year on the CATalyst staff, but third year with journalism. In Yearbook, she has had a past role of Copy-Editor. Outside of journalism, Delaney enjoys taking pictures, spending time with friends, traveling, being with family, and being a part of the track team.

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