Mav Cheerleaders Return to the Mat at Nationals


Maverick Cheerleading competition team competes at Nationals during first round.

Ella McEntire, Co-Newspaper Editor

The Maverick cheerleading competition team traveled to the big stage in Orlando, Florida this season for the annual UCA National Cheerleading Championship. The team competed on the weekend of Feb. 10-12 and finished 5th in the nation on Super Varsity Division I Non-Tumbling Game Day. The cheerleaders started off strong with the team receiving the highest score by any team on the weekend of 98.2. This score put the team first in prelims and gave the Mavs a pass to the finals of the competition.

   “I would definitely say that my team and I were in complete shock when we heard our names get called. I knew we performed well so I knew we were going to the semi-finals, but to hear that we got first in prelims I was extremely happy,” sophomore Lexi Griffith said. 

   When the Mavs weren’t performing, they spent their time off the mat in the “happiest place on earth” or Walt Disney World Resort. Activities at the attraction included riding roller coasters, visiting different sections of the park such as Magic Kingdom, and meeting Disney characters along the way.

   “We all got the ride the Avatar Flight of Passage ride together and it was so cool,” junior Anna Garlow said.

   The experiences shared between teammates at Disney World, along with competing together helped to bring the team close and build stronger relationships.

   “Bonding with people that I haven’t really gotten close with this year,” junior Tia Lockwood said about her favorite part of the weekend. “Nationals just brings everyone closer together.”

   Before leaving for the big stage, the team spent countless hours inside and outside of practice working on perfecting their skills and routine. This hard work and time spent proved to be one of the toughest obstacles on the road to Nationals.

   “We had a lot of practice, especially leading up the week before. So, probably just the long hours of work that we put in, but I think it all worked and paid off and it was a great experience the entire season,” freshman Landry Settle said about the largest difficulties of preparing for Nationals.

   There are many elements to the routine that is performed over this weekend. Each one includes ways to show off the team’s unique skills and impressive technique in order to score their highest and set themselves above the competition.

   “I would have to say our fight song is my favorite part because it gives a mix of dancing, engaging with the crowd and giving some amazing faces, while also letting me stunt with my stunt group,” Griffith said.

   After competing for the last time in the finals, the team placed 5th out of 36 teams in their division. While this finish is not what the Mavs hoped for, the team is still proud of the routines they delivered.

   “I feel that we all performed to the best of our abilities and that we put out on the mat what we could,” sophomore Coen Browning said.

   Despite this outcome, the team is already looking forward to next season and what it has to offer. The Mavs hold high expectations for their performances and will continue to work to be one of the best cheer teams in the nation.

   “Definitely to work on our stunts to make sure they hit and finals,” freshman Claire Kamolsiri said about the team’s goals for next season at Nationals.