LHS cheer team earns top spot at nationals

LHS cheerleaders compete at nationals at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The team placed seventh in the nation.

LHS cheerleaders compete at nationals at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The team placed seventh in the nation.

LHS cheerleaders compete at nationals at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The team placed seventh in the nation.

Lily Elvey, Staff Writer

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Winning state is a very big accomplishment for a cheerleader; going to nationals is even bigger.

Recently, the high school cheer team went to nationals in Orlando, Florida. They finished overall in seventh place.

On day one, the girls competed against all 23 teams. They finished first and went straight through to finals. For a day, they were the top team in the nation.

Junior Bella Shelley thinks going into day two the team felt a little overly confident because they were first the day before.

“The best memory of day one was when we hit everything in our routine and everyone was emotional,” Bella said.

“When they called Lakeside as first after day one was a huge accomplishment,” Coach Judy  Morton said.

On day two, the girls finished seventh in the nation.

None of the girls who were interviewed were disappointed with their team. “I am content with the turnout because it is an honor to be seventh in the nation,” Senior Micayla Landry said.

In the warm-up room, Coach Morton was giving really supportive speeches to the cheerleaders.“Let’s go out and do our best,” she told the girls.  

Coach Morton went into nationals with intentions to win. “My philosophy is if you don’t believe you will win, then you won’t,” she said.  She thought this team had a really good shot at nationals this year.

Nationals took a lot of mental and physical preparation.Starting in mid October, the cheerleaders practiced six days a week, totalling up to around 20-25 hours every week. “You have to work your hardest no matter what,” Junior Laney Herman said.

They practiced their transition stunts every day over and over again. “You have to put the work in,” Coach Morton said.

The girls prepared themselves personally for nationals, as well. “I prepared myself by telling myself I can do it,” Bella said. Micayla prepared herself by reminiscing on all of the competitions before that big one. “To get where you want to be you have to work hard,”she said.

One of the difficulties was the 16-hour bus ride.

Coach Morton said she would rather go to the NCA Dallas nationals competition rather than the nationals in Disney World. A few of the reasons for that is because it is very stressful and and there are so many people. She personally thinks Disney World is not a good place for a cheer competition. “I confirmed that Disney World is a disadvantage for the teams,” she said about having nationals in Orlando.

Despite some of the disadvantages, there were some positives to the competition aside from the outcome. The team was able to bond in Disney World and spend time with each other.

This was also a learning experience for all of the cheerleaders. “This experience was good because we got to compete against people on the same level, and I got to be in Disney with my team,” Micayla said.

Not only did the cheerleaders just learn from the experience at nationals, they also learned through the whole season. All of the cheerleaders are extremely proud of how far they made it and how well they did.

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LHS cheer team earns top spot at nationals