The Cumberland County High School Cheerleaders are “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 June 4-7 with 25 other cheer squads.
"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 Eighties in a spirit-filled pep rally on Tuesday afternoon. The UCA staff enjoyed a trip “Back to the Eighties” with CCHS cheerleaders. Hard work and dedication paid off, as the CCHS squads brought home numerous awards and honors," said Coach Melissa 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.
Both squads received numerous “Superior and Outstanding” ribbons and spirit sticks nightly.
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.
The CCHS cheer program has a new coaching staff for the 2013-2014 season. Although they are not new faces to the program, Melissa Kerley and Jeanne Swafford are looking at new areas for the teams.
“We went into this camp prepared and ready to show what this team has to offer,” said Swafford.
“We set high goals for this camp and achieved all of them. We are very proud of these kids” Kerley said. The Jets’ cheer team has set a new standard for themselves and looks forward to a year of supporting their Jets and Lady Jets.