Give me a C.H.A.M.P.
What does that spell?
For El Reno High School’s cheerleading squad, it spells the best routine of all teams competing recently at the 2019 Rockstar Championships Spring Fling in Oklahoma City.
Performing at the Cox Convention Center, El Reno posted a score of 84.7 in its one and only routine featuring no falls.
“We hit zero, which means no falls in cheerleading lingo. That’s good in itself because it's different when it’s live and you are thinking about your next move and you are out of breath after tumbling and lifting,” said El Reno cheer sponsor Jacqueline Smith.
El Reno not only won the Intermediate High School Cheer Division over second-place Agra High School, but the Indians squad had the best overall score of all divisions, leading to the grand championship label for the squad.
“I was really proud of them. We had to change the routine the day before we competed because we had one girl get sick and another could not compete. So we changed it and they all really pulled together to make it happen.
“They remembered what all they were supposed to do and I was really proud of them for that,” said Smith.
It's the second time in three years for El Reno to compete in a spring event rather than in the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s contest in the fall. In 2017, El Reno won an event held at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington.
“We don't do the OSSAA competition because it’s at the start of our season in September and we usually are not ready, so we do the other ones. We have a lot of people in other sports and when you are dealing with multiple sport athletes and cheer, you’ve got to wait until other sports are over,” said Smith.
Smith said the team voted to do the Rockstar event this year and began practicing its routine in January.
“They gave up more of their lunches and we also practiced in fifth hour. We also practiced some in the evenings. There is more to cheerleading than just looking cute in a uniform.
“This (winning) proves that they can overcome anything and they should be proud of themselves,” said Smith.
Smith says she would like her squads to make at least one competition every season moving forward.
“It depends on the team and the skills you have that year. I let the team vote but I think it’s good for them to compete because it teaches them the value of hard work,” said Smith.