Varsity cheerleading takes second
March 13, 2012By Erin Coggins of Sparkman High School
When a second place finish was awarded at The National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Fla., the varsity cheerleading team, a usual first place team, did not hesitate to jump up and accept their award.
Second place at a national level is an achievement that not many teams could have been able to get under the stress that this team endured. Almost every cheerleader suffered through some sort of sickness or injury over the course of the year, but their ability to overcome those obstacles was said to be shown in their routine.
“This year was so different because we were going through a hard time. We were excited, but at the same time the number of injuries were almost overwhelming,” junior Alison Tralongo said.
Senior Christin Spencer tore the ACL in her right knee two weeks before the team left for competition, and although it prevented her from tumbling during their routine, she was on the mat alongside her teammates throughout the competition. While she said there was not much for her to personally be worried about, she had an immense amount of faith in her team.
“I didn’t worry about my teammates because even with everything we had been through during the year, especially the month or so before nationals, everyone on the team stepped up and worked together to overcome the obstacles,” Spencer said.
Walking through the halls during third period, a person is likely to hear the cheerleaders shouting as loud as they can to prepare themselves for each competition leading up to the big one. The varsity Sparkman cheerleading team is said to be known to be stiff competition, and this year was no different.
“We had less time this year to prepare this year, and my biggest fear was forgetting something since we changed our routine so many times due to injuries, but we pulled through it together,” sophomore Brittany Garrett said.
With one of the four boys on the team being hurt, junior Tyler Lott, it hindered the team’s ability to stunt and lift as they would have with all of the boys to be in full health. One thing that the team believes will help them in the future is more boys to try out.
“The more boys who try out, the better. People don’t really think about how much a boy cheerleader helps, but he does. If anyone is thinking about trying out, by all means we encourage you to do so,” Tralongo said.
While the big picture is getting the trophy and a white jacket, sometimes there are controversies that make a team look beyond the material things. This year was said to be a definite experience for the team, and one that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
“Instead of letting our injuries defeat us, we did what we had to do for our team. They performed a flawless routine, and that shows their true strength as individuals and the strength of the team as a whole. We aren’t just a team, but we’re a family. We do this for each other,” Spencer said.