In recent years, high school competitive cheerleading in Hernando County hasn’t been very big. Hernando High School participated in the 2012-13 FHSAA State Competitive Cheerleading Series and Nature Coast Technical High School competed competitively from 2007 to 2011.
This year though, Springstead has a squad, bringing county representation for competitive cheerleading.
“No one was competing in Hernando County, and we felt this was a great opportunity for us,” said Shannon Herod. Herod is in her fourth year as cheerleading head coach at F.W. Springstead High in Spring Hill.
Competitive cheer is more than just sideline cheerleading, and there are higher demands in dynamics and ingenuity. Teams are scored by category performances like cheer, pace, volume, motion technique, tumbling, dance skills, the use of signs, poms, total execution/ technique and overall all cheer impression. Each team has to bring a unique style to every competition.
On Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 Eagles cheerleaders hosted the Springstead Cheer Showcase to compete against Anclote, Wesley Chapel and Cypress Creek for the Class 1A – Region R2 conference. Unfortunately Anclote and Wesley Chapel canceled, which gave Springstead just one team to challenge: Cypress Creek.
Springstead Eagles came out on top with a score of 67.5 to Cypress Creeks 61.5.
Herod explained that these head to head competitions are more for the judges to give coaches feedback on their performance and to prepare them for the FHSAA Regionals in January.
“Our school has grown to love our cheerleading program because we make it exciting,” Herod said. “ I have high standards for them, and they are more than just a uniform. They really set it; attitude, grades, leadership. I mean they have changed the way the school has looked at the cheerleading program.”
Nov. 16 Hudson Showcase
Dec. 1 UCA Regionals: The Eagles placed in the top 10 out of 15 squads earning them a bid to Nationals in February.
Upcoming for the Eagles Cheer Squad:
January 5: Xcel 360 USF Showcase in Odessa
January 18: FHSAA Regionals at Hudson High
“It really has grown into such a great sport,” said Herod.