Spring Hill College’s cheer team will leave to compete in the National Cheerleaders Association’s national competition in Daytona, FL on April 3.
Led by captain Branna Hokanson and co-captains Sumyr Thames and Sydney Caudill, this will be the team’s first time competing in the NCA nationals. The team has been preparing their skills for nationals since last August and running their routine since the return from Christmas break.
In preparation for nationals, the team members have been practicing their skills individually and then putting them together in full-out routines multiple times each practice. They have been working very hard, aiming to focus on little things such as timing, sharpness and overall crowd appeal. Hokanson said, “I personally think we have a pretty good chance of doing well this year. We have had such a positive vibe during practice and this semester. As long as we keep our confidence I think we will succeed.”
In years past, the team has struggled to maintain the numbers necessary to compete in competitions. They especially struggled two years ago when their coach left. The past two seasons they have slowly been building the program back up with the help of their new coach, Alyssa Paesano.
Caudill, a senior and co-captain, said, “I’m really excited that for my last year as a cheerleader, we will be able to be a part of such a fun and important competition.” She agrees with Hokansaon saying, “I think that we will do well during the competition this year. We have been working really hard to make sure we have all of our skills to perform a solid routine.”