Region 8 cheerleaders take home national title - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Region 8 cheerleaders take home national title

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

COOTER, MO (KAIT) - Last Saturday, the Cooter High School cheerleading team competed at the National Cheerleading Association's (NCA) Open Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. The squad brought back a national title. But the team showed more than just school spirit, they had heart.

"We are the first cheerleading team to bring home a national title in the state of Missouri," says Cooter High School Cheer Coach Tonya Childers. She says she couldn't be prouder. "The last performance showed every bit of heart that this group has," says Childers.

In a school of just over a hundred students, the Cooter High School Wildcat cheerleaders tumbled, tossed, and cheered their way to a national title. The team competed against schools with more than 2,000 students. Co-Captain Natalie Robinson says it took sweat and hard work to be able to jump ahead to victory. "We were going against 5-A schools, which are really huge, they have a lot of people to choose from. We're just little ole' Cooter and we don't have that many people. So we had to work especially hard," says Robinson.

Hard work, that team members say sprung them to the top, and now have the national jackets to prove it.

"I just knew that even if we didn't win, we had all done our very best, and put exactly what we could on the floor," says senior Bailey Callens.

"When they said the other team got second place we all just went crazy because we knew we had it," says Robinson.

This year was the 2nd time the team's competed at the national level. "They have come so far in one year's time. We have 16 girls, and out of the 16, 10 of them have never competed on a high school level before this year," says Childers.

But Childers hopes the girls take away more than just a national title. "I want them to know it doesn't matter where you come from. It doesn't matter how small it is. You can be great at anything, but you have to work for it," says Childers.

Childers says the squad practiced several hours a week and even before school. This year the team won the state competition, and the national title, which Childers hopes to repeat next year.

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