Freshman cheer squad takes it to the top


Solomon Juarez

Being her first year cheering, freshman Paulina Silva is excited for what season will hold. “I want to work hard and contribute the best for our team so next year we can bring more wins home.”

Coming fresh into high school people are often anxious and introverted, but some are willing to test the waters. A small group of people that displayed this desire to put themselves out there and try new things was Stagg’s freshman cheer team.

“I wanted them to see what a real cheer camp was like,” Jeana Correa, freshman cheer head coach said. “Like how I did when I was in high school.”

With only two experienced girls, the team showed a great deal of dedication and heart. After a couple months of practice during the summer, the freshman cheerleaders did better than what most expected at the 2017 Universal Cheerleaders Association cheer camp in UC Santa Cruz.

The camp was a three-day ordeal that included an immense amount of training, private coaching, and leadership building activities that are meant to get cheerleaders ready for game days and competitions.

Having a team of only six girls they took home three spirit sticks and five trophies, four of them being first place and one being “Most Improved.” Throughout the camp there are a variety of competitions between the cheerleaders such as: jumping, tumbling,and flying. Believing it would be a good learning experience, Correa decided to put three of her girls in the freshman and junior varsity jump competition.

One of them, Ariana Raygoza, actually won the competition overall.

The first day of camp Correa had the team set both personal and team goals.

“As a team we wanted to be able to do stunts that regular freshmen couldn’t do, like a toe-touch basket,” Jaquelin Flores said.

Within four hours of camp the girls started to cross off their goals and perform stunts designed for varsity teams. Being able to execute stunts at the level of difficulty they’ve been doing, the girls were beyond confident and found themselves proud to show off their skills.  With the strenuous practices held by Correa and Alana Lujan, volunteer assistant coach, the team exhibits precision, cleanliness, and lots of energy when they perform.

“You’re a cheerleader. You need to be loud,” Lujan said.

Sharp movements and deafening cheers are two things Lujan tries to instill in the girls during practice. Being an alumni and former cheerleader, Lujan compares her old freshman team to today’s current freshman team and the comparison isn’t even close.

The freshmen are already showing varsity potential this early on in the season, Correa and Lujan expect the team of thirteen, to reach varsity level by the end of the season.

“Our team is one of those teams that actually want to learn things and we put all our effort in it,” Flores said.

Since the girls have a substantial amount of talent and training, this season they anticipate that they will be one of the, if not, the best freshman cheer team in SJAA.

Hoping for a good season, Correa will continue to push the girls to their limits and the girls will continue to exert themselves in every jump, extension, and cheer.