Liberty Christian School cheerleaders placed higher than ever before at the Universal Cheerleaders Association Nationals event last weekend in Orlando.
From Feb. 10-11, more than 800 cheerleading teams competed at the event. For the third straight year, Liberty competed in the event, participating in the Super Varsity DII Division against 24 other teams from across the country that were made up of squads with 21–30 athletes and less than 1,600 in the high school population, according to a school news release.
The team claimed the bronze, the highest place LCS has finished at Nationals.
“We are so unbelievably proud of our cheerleaders!” said Coach Stephanie Jones. “Our routines were not perfect in the preliminary or semifinal rounds, but the girls came together as a team and hit a perfect routine on the final day, earning them a third place finish.”
For the cheerleaders, Nationals represented the grand finale of a school year that saw the girls win state at the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) for the fourth year in a row.
“These girls work extremely hard all year to make their goals a reality,” said Coach Jones. “Even after the team suffered several injuries and came down with the flu, they fought hard and never stopped.”
To increase their score by 10 points this year, the girls focused on skill execution throughout the year.
“The girls began the summer with a conditioning/weight lifting program to help increase their strength in stunts, jumps, and tumbling,” Jones said. “They spend eight to 10 hours per week practicing, even training at the beginning of their lunch period to get in more repetitions for their elite stunts.”
Next month, the cheerleaders prepare for tryouts and then return to UCA’s Alabama Master Camp this summer.
ESPN2 will air Nationals on April 7 at 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.