West High Competition Cheer On the Road To Their Las Vegas Nationals

The+West+High+Cheer+Team+linked+arm+in+arm%2C+offering+each+other+words+of+encouragement+before+their+performance.+Courtesy+of+Eva+Reyes.

The West High Cheer Team linked arm in arm, offering each other words of encouragement before their performance. Courtesy of Eva Reyes.

Alexssa Takeda, Staff Writer

   On Sunday, December 15th, the West High Competition Cheer team announced they brought home a victory and won first place in the recent JAMZ Cheer & Dance Competition at Irvine College.

   Although they were a mere team of six, consisting of cheerleaders Eva Reyes (9), Emma Plancarte (9), Isabella Distasio (9), Cielo Aceituno (10) Michelle Aguiar (11), and Christine Arabit, (11); they weren’t going to let themselves be beat. “We were all huddled together, talking about how hard we had worked and how far we had come,” Junior Varsity Captain Eva Reyes (9) said. “We weren’t going to let others think that just because we are a team of six going up against a team of eighteen, we couldn’t be bomb.” 

   After igniting confidence in their fellow teammates, the moment they had been anticipating had arrived. Neighboring teams began to roar in applause as West was called to the floor. With a month’s amount of work and constant practice, the girls gave this routine their all.

   Even though the odds seemed to be against them, they quickly put those doubts to rest when West won first place at the competition.

   Despite this huge announcement, the team didn’t immediately hear the great news. “At the award ceremony, it was so hard to hear” Reyes admits. “So when the announcer had finally gotten to our category and said we won, we didn’t even realize!” 

   The West Team did not realize their success until one of their own parents from another team asked them why they were reacting so calmly…That was when it all clicked. 

   Cheerleader Emma Plancarte (9) describes how she felt, saying “Personally I felt like we accomplished so much this year and I am so proud of all of us because we worked so hard and we deserved it.”

   In order to qualify for Nationals, the teams had to score a seventy percent or higher. The cheer team was elated to see that they had well surpassed that first hurdle!

   Plancarte clarified that cheer isn’t always as easy as learning a few cheers and chants. The sport requires countless hours of practice and dedication. Occasionally, they were encouraged to stay after practice ended in order to perfect their skills, both new and old. 

   Plancarte explains, “I think the main thing everyone had to offer was dedication. The thing that kept us all going was the thought of us doing well and making it to Nationals for ourselves and our coaches.” She went on to express her gratitude for Coach Grace and Coach Krista saying, “We appreciate them so much, they made competition so fun and practice amazing. We achieved so much because of them.”

   Now they are hard at work, preparing for their next competition in Bakersfield, CA, then their big debut in Las Vegas for Nationals. Taking all that they learned from their previous performance, they hope to continue to put forth their best efforts. 

   The team is excited to prove that despite their size, they have just as much resilience and vigor as their competition.