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High-flying experience: National bid leads to Florida for Mount Si’s cheer squad | Photos
Red Squad kept insisting, so Coach Jessii Stevens finally gave in. She joined them on their umpteenth run on Space Mountain, immortalized by photos of the thrilling hi-jinks.
Mount Si’s cheer squad mixed Walt Disney World thrills with some serious competition at the 2012 National High School Cheerleading Championships, held Feb. 11 and 12 in Orlando, Fla.
Twelve girls on the Mount Si competition team, Red Squad, traveled to nationals to witness the best cheering in the land. Karli Rogers, Kim Anderson, Kirstie Clark, Megan Ferkovich, Chloe Villanueva, Mikaelyn Davis, Miranda Gillespie, Kendall Maddux, Hailey Barrett, Dana Pecora, Danielle Kraycik and Nicki Mostofi joined 10,000 cheerleaders from 435 teams and 33 states at the resort in a climax to their year-long season.
Mount Si won the right to go to nationals, called a bid, at the UCA Masters Camp at Skyline High School last summer. These girls knew all year that they would be going, and trained excitedly for the opportunity, Mount Si’s first nationals trip since 2004.
“Each year, we’ve progressed a lot,” Coach Stevens said. “I’ve always wanted to grow the program, so more kids can be involved.”
The team’s skills also got a boost this year from assistant coach Travis Anderson, brought on board to train the team in tumbling and stunts thanks to a grant from the Tanner Jeans Memorial Foundation.
“Almost all of my kids can tumble, which is incredible,” Stevens said.
At nationals, the team witnessed complex, world-class stunting and tumbling from some of the nation’s best cheerleaders. Stevens said it really opened cheerleaders and parents’ eyes to what can be done.
“Parents and kids see the time commitment, the quality that it can be,” Stevens said. “It was a fantastic experience… I can’t wait to go back and do better.”
“Being surrounded by thousands of other cheerleaders, meeting teams from all over the country, teams from China… are definitely memories they will share,” she added.
This bonding comes at the culmination of the season. As the spring sports season begins, cheerleading tryouts begin for a new season this April.
While losing core seniors and captains, Mount Si will rely on an up-and-coming group that includes a strong freshman class.
“There is room for people to step up,” Stevens said,
You can learn more about the Mount Si Cheer Team at mountsicheer.weebly.com.
Mikaelyn Davis, top left, performs a stand with help from ‘bases; Chloe Villanueva, Karli Rogers and Nicki Mostofi, at the National High School Cheerleading Championship at Walt Disney World. Mount Si cheer team members learned and bonded on the February trip to Florida, the culmination of a year-long season. At right, flyer Dana Pecora is supported by Kirstie Clark, Danielle Kraycik and Kendall Maddux.