The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

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They’ve got spirit: Varsity cheer places 7th at state

The varsity cheer team poses for a photo in Fort Worth while at the state competition. Photo via @svrangercheer on Instagram.

The varsity cheer team placed 7th at the University Interscholastic League state competitions on Saturday in Fort Worth.

After enduring three hour practices five days a week over Christmas break, the team was excited to see its hard work pay off.

“This being my first year on varsity, it’s really accomplishing,” junior cheerleader Jordan South said. “We worked really hard to get 7th place and devoted so much of our time; it felt rewarding.”

On the first day of the competition, 72 teams competed in prelims, from which the top 20 teams would move on to finals the next day. The team scored a 92.83 on their finals performance, tying with Cedar Park, but ultimately winning the tie breaker to earn 7th place.

“(On the mat), you have so much adrenaline,” South said, “It’s like nothing that you’ve ever seen before. You’re really happy to be there, and you want it so bad because you can feel everyone’s energy on the mat with you.”

There are three parts to the performance, including band chant, which is the motions they perform to songs that the band plays at football games; crowd leading, which is their cheers to get the crowd excited about a game; and fight song, which is the motions they have to go along with the school’s fight song. The team first learned its routine in October.

“The past two years, we have had similar choreography, but this year was an entirely new routine,” junior cheerleader Maleah Ramos said. “We were choreographed by these all star coaches that coach for competitive all star teams. It was confusing at first, but once you got it down and understood it, it was really fun.”

Aside from daily practices, the team hosted multiple showcases and went to other competitions to prepare them for state. 

“Those competitions before really prepared us because we knew what to expect when there’s a lot of people,” Ramos said.

Both South and Ramos describe the feeling of performing as an experience they’ve never had before. Between the lights and the crowd, these three minutes are some of the most stressful yet rewarding moments of their lives.

“In sports, it’s usually an entire game, but this is only three minutes,” Ramos said. “You have to try your best, and once you’re on that mat, you can feel the adrenaline and energy of your teammates, and you know that you all have to work together to make the routine as good as it can be.”

For South, she has to take each move a moment at a time to ensure the routine is the best it can be for herself and her teammates.

“With sports, you can make up that point you lost, but you cannot make up a mistake that cost you a point in cheer,” she said. “When I’m performing and I anticipate the next motion, that can mess me up, and one person messing up can be the difference between first and second.”

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