Squad values competition opportunity despite minor errors
Before entering the USA Spirit Nationals at the Anaheim Convention Center, the cheer squad poses for a photo. Competing against 10 other teams, FC placed eighth.
The FC Cheer team qualified for the 2012 USA Spirit Nationals when they placed third in the USA regional competition in Antioch, CA, Jan. 14.
The team has been preparing for the national event that showcased not only cheer but also dance and pep teams from all around the country. The competition took place in Anaheim at the Anaheim Convention Center, March 29-April 1. There, the FC cheer squad took eighth place out of 11 in the Small JV Intermediate Division.
Coach Annette Phillips was unable to attend the competition because of emergency health complications, though she remains proud of her girls and continued to encourage them.
"The girls are some of my greatest blessings," Phillips said. "They have inspired me through their hard work; it is an amazing opportunity to be able and perform at Nationals. I am very proud of the accomplishment and am proud to be called their coach."
The girls anticipated the exciting journey with positive attitudes and lifted spirits, especially facing Nationals for the first time since 2010.
Although the cheerleaders have lost team members and received injuries that kept out of practice, the girls managed to stay strong and perform in front of hundreds of people with excited smiles and joyful appearances, according to freshman Sabrina Henderson.
"I was super excited to have the opportunity to go to nationals this year, we have worked really hard and I am very proud of our team," Henderson said. "I made many great memories and am very blessed to be a part of the team."
Hannah Serimian, mother of sophomore Emily Shakeshaft, attended the competition, and is thrilled for the girls' opportunity to compete at a National competition.
"They have inspired me through their hard work; it is an amazing opportunity to be able and perform at Nationals. I am very proud of the accomplishment and am proud to be called their coach." --Cheer coach Annette Phillips
"It was a great experience for the girls; they got the chance to show how hard they have worked all year, and received some really good criticism and feedback," Serimian said. "It is a blessing that we have accomplished so much. The girls did a great job of representing the school, and although they were not finalists, they always had great attitudes and are willing to improve, I am very proud of them."
The FC cheerleaders competed among 11 teams, and came out as placing eighth due to a few small stunt issues during the performance and other assorted infractions.
Assistant coach, former cheer member and '11 FC alumna Bree Ainley is proud of the team's accomplishments.
"It has been a blessing to have worked with the girls this year, and even though they didn't necessarily place at the top they have potential to improve and grow," Ainley said. "I am excited to see what comes next for these wonderful girls, they are capable of anything as long as they dedicate themselves to it."
For more information on cheer, read the March 28 article, BRIEF: Cheer anticipates USA Nationals.