South Cheer heads to Nationals

Lizzie Allen, Staff Writer

They show up to every Friday night football game, rain, shine, or freezing cold. They’re at every basketball game, boys or girls, any day of the week, anywhere in Indiana. And now, they will get to be recognized in their own right.

After placing first overall at regionals, the Bloomington South cheer team will travel to Orlando, Florida to compete in the National High School Cheerleading Championship on Feb. 7th, 8th, and 9th. The competition will be made up of top teams from all across the United States, but the team believes that their top place finish at regionals will give them a boost in Orlando.

“Regionals, it just set the bar to what we’ve been working for,” said junior Jordan Messina. “We just worked really hard, and we then won regionals, and I think it’s just going to carry over into nationals, and we’re going to do the same thing.” 

The team has been practicing and preparing for months, and the first pay-off for all their hard work was their win at regionals. 

“We spend a lot of time focusing on every other sport in the school, trying to support them, trying to be there for them, so I think when we get to be successful in our own thing, it kind of helps the girls push forward,” said head coach Jill Barber. 

The second pay-off will be their trip to Orlando. 

The team will leave on Wednesday the 5th after school, and will compete two different routines in three different divisions over the weekend. On Friday, they will compete their game-day routine, made up of a band dance, sideline cheer, and fight song routine, hoping to make it through the preliminaries and semifinals, all the way to the finals. On Saturday, they will compete their performance routine, the routine that is more technically focused on stunts, and will continue to compete on Sunday if they make it to finals. 

Barber has confidence that her team will still be on the mat on Sunday.

“They have the potential to go to finals. That’s my goal.”

In addition to competing on the biggest stage in the country, their trip to Orlando will bring the team time to enjoy themselves with a trip to Walt Disney World on Monday before they drive home. However, the team seems more focused on their weekend activities than their trip to Disney.

“A lot of people are really excited,” said freshman Quinley Bowden on competing.“I’m excited, but I’m also scared, because I really want us to do good.”

“Everybody’s just so antsy to go,” said Messina. “I’m just ready to go out with my whole team and literally give the performance of our lives.” 

Even with nerves, Messina is completely confident in her team. 

“I’m calling it right now, South cheer is making it to finals this year in the large division… that’s it. We’re gonna do it,” she added.

Barber knows what her team is hoping for from their trip to nationals, and what her team is aiming for from their trip to nationals. 

“The last two years we placed last place at regionals, so going down to nationals was more of an experience,” said Barber. “Where it used to be a trip to Disney, now it’s a trip to nationals.”

“Now, they want to win.”