By Ed Greif
The Cumberland County High School cheerleaders was honored for their accomplishments on and off the field and basketball court last Thursday night at Cornerstone Baptist Church.
Academic achievement was recognized first, as CCHS assistant principal Kerri Rockwell presented the squad their awards.
"I'm extremely proud to call myself a Jet," she said, before announcing the varsity squad had a GPA of 3.58 and the junior varsity's was 3.44.
Julie Bryson, Hannah Hitch, Kaitlyn Lee, Hailey Mitchell and Becca Patton maintained a 4.0 through the first semester and third team.
Those cheerleaders with a 3.59-3.9 were Katie Burney, Shayla Christopher, Karis Davis, Kadee Fowler, Bailey Galan, Viktoria Shelby, Jessica Simmons, Leah Stephens, Emily Swafford, Ashley Bennett, Elize Dille, Kierstin Haynes, Mikayla Lee and Kassandra Looshchen.
Receiving letters, bars and/or mecaphones were Julie Bryson, Katie Burney, Shayla Christopher, Karis Davis, Kadee Fowler, Bailey Galan, Hannah Hitch, Jade Iles, Cade Issacson, Allyna Kerley, Brtiney McDaniel, Felicia Mantooth, Talin Miller, Taonna Miller, Haley Mitchell, Becca Patton, Viktoria Selby, Jessica Simmons, Leah Stephens, Emily Swafford, Danyelle Ashburn, Hannah Colton, Elize Dille, Kierstin Haynes, Halley Plenert and Savannah Turner.
"Looking back at our year what can we say except — What an awesome year and we made lifetime memories," said Melissa Kerley, sponsor
On June 4-7, 2013, the Cumberland County High School Cheerleaders were "UCA Camp Champs."
The CCHS varsity and junior varsity squads enjoyed a week packed full of fun and excitement at UCA Cheer Camp at Tennessee Technological University.
"Both squads went into the first day fired up with spirit and ready to rock cheer camp! Their outgoing spirit was rewarded by the being the first cheer squad of the camp to receive the famous 'UCA Spirit Banana.' Neon shirts and big hair came out as both squads 'flashed back to the 80s in a spirit-filled pep rally on Tuesday afternoon. The UCA staff enjoyed a trip "Back to the 80s" with CCHS cheerleaders. Hard work and dedication paid off, as the CCHS squads brought home numerous awards and honors," said Kerley.
Talin Miller showed off his jumping skills as he was crowned Jump Off Champ of the Camp. Eight CCHS Cheerleaders were named to the All American UCA Cheer Squad — Leah Stephens, Shayla Christopher, Talin Miller, Taonna Miller, Emily Swafford and Kadee Fowler from the varsity squad and Kaitlyn Lee and Kayla Spieles from the junior varsity squad.
The Jets took home camp champs in the Varsity Extreme Routine, runner-up in the Varsity Cheer Division, third place in the Home Pom routine, camp champs in Varsity Game Day routine, camp champs in the Junior Varsity Home Pom routine, camp champs in the Junior Varsity Extreme routine and runner-up in the Junior Varsity Game Day routine.
Another new program UCA is starting this summer is "Pin it Forward." UCA created this program to promote all of the values developed through cheerleading like leadership, spirit, commitment, kindness and motivation.
As part of "Pin it Forward," each UCA instructor passed out a card with two pins to cheerleaders who they think possess these skills on day one.
On day two, those cheerleaders passed their extra pin onto another cheerleader from a different school possessing those traits. At the end of the camp, all of the cheerleaders who received a pin were recognized.
From the CCHS squad, the following cheerleaders received pins — Leah Stephens, Taonna Miller, Emily Swafford and Kaitlyn Lee.
There are a variety of awards handed out on the final day, but the one campers always strive for is the Leadership Award. What makes this award unique is that the award isn't chosen by the staff, it is chosen by the other squads who attended the camp. The Leadership Award is given to the squad who shows good leadership skills, school spirit, is friendly to the
other teams, and has a great attitude. When the squads are voting, the instructors will tell the campers to think of a squad at camp that you would want to be on. The Leadership Award is something that is seen as a huge honor to the UCA staff. It is seen that way because the teams who get this award are the ones who are doing what all cheerleaders should be
doing: showing school spirit while being friendly to others. The Cumberland County High School program had the pleasure of receiving this award on the final day of camp!
The Jets also took home the "Traditions" award, voted on by the entire UCA and Varsity Brands staff for their leadership skills, school pride and spirit.
"We are honored to be recognized for this. We take great pride in representing our school at camp and showing what it means to be a Jet," Kerley said.
"Not only did our cheerleaders work hard in the classroom, on the football field and basketball court, but they tried a totally different avenue and also gave it their all on the competition floor. We traveled to Sevierville the second weekend in December and competed in the Smoky
Mountain Championships. With first place wins in both Small Coed and Game Day divisions, they won an invitation to the National Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL.
The Cumberland County High School cheerleaders were among the 10,000 cheerleaders, 552 teams, 32 divisions, 30 states and five countries were represented at The National High School Cheerleading Championship in February at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL.
Considered one of the most prestigious national championships in the country, this event brings the best high school and junior high school cheerleading teams from across the country to compete.
"Our team performed the best they have ever performed at this competition. We went up against some awesome squads from across the United States and we are excited to bring home the fourth place trophy in the Game Day Division. They were amazing both on and off the floor," said Kerley.
"Each member gave 120 percent and left it all on the floor. We could not be more proud of this squad. We would like to thank family, friends and our community for making this trip possible for us. Without all the support we received from our community it would not have been possible to live the dream we did this weekend. We were very happy to bring home the game day trophy," she said. "It was an awesome experienced this year. All of these girls worked hard. These 30 kids standing before you worked the hardest I've ever seen."
State Rep. Cameron Sexton presented each squad member a House of Representative resolution acknowledging their accomplishments.
"It is great to be. It is refreshing to see a group get along with each other. They are one of the best teams I've seen cheer this year," he said.
Senior cheerleaders Jessica Simmons, Kadee Fowler, Shayla Christopher, Viktoria Selby, Kaite Burning and Leah Stephens received special awards.
The CCHS cheerleaders are getting excited about the 2014-'15 season as they will be having their annual parent's meeting April 10 at 6 p.m. in the school library to pass out packets and then begin tryout clinics April 21-23 and tryouts April 24.