Article and Photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN
Hudson, Fla. –Cheerleaders from Winding Waters, Weeki Wachee, and Springstead competed in the Division Competitive Cheer Competition at Hudson High School on Nov. 22, 2019.
Weeki Wachee varsity cheerleaders were added to this year’s line up, along with Winding Waters K-8 team who were the 2019 UCA Game Day – Junior High Non-Tumbling Cheerleading Champions.
“We are working on defending our title this year,” said Carrisa Edwards.
Edwards is the head coach for Winding Waters JV and Varsity cheerleading with Allison Bates.
The first performance began with Winding Waters Junior High Division. The Yellow Jackets competed in the Junior High Game Day Division as well and were the only ones in their division; they happily came out on top.
“Last night, the middle school team (Winding Waters) didn’t go up against any other middle schools, but they still had a really strong showing,” Edwards said. “They really were very strong and energetic. I was very proud of them, and they worked really hard.”
Weeki Wachee cheerleaders competed in the VA Game Day Division against Avon Park, Bayshore, and Hudson. Despite dealing with injuries and newcomers filling in for those injuries, Teresa Edwards was delighted by their performances.
“They put on a great routine, and came together as a squad,” Edwards said. “This is the first time Weeki Wachee has ever competed in the Game Day Division. They put in so much time and effort every day working and still had to cheer for football and basketball games. They balance it all, we are really proud of them.”
Springstead is going into their second year in competitive cheer. Shannon Herod’s cheering routines are already planned out for the year. The competitive side of the Lady Eagles cheering squad is stronger in standards and pushing the limits in routines.
“When we went into warm-ups last night, we hit our routine three times, we got out on the mat, and we didn’t,” said competitive cheer coach Shannon Herod. “A lot of nerves go out on the mat. I need for them to get those first time jitters out.”
Springstead faced Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and Sunlake in the Varsity Division. Eagles placed fourth due to some routine technique errors, but overall the experience was something many of the cheerleaders needed.
“I am super proud of my girls,” Herod said. “Our difficulty score was very high, and I know that. Our routine is very tough this year, but I know my girls can do it. We need to hit it that first time in front of a crowd so they can get that confidence, that’s what I was hoping for last night.”
“Do we have a lot of work to do, absolutely, and it’s always those little tiny techniques that have to change and be applied so that we can hit our routine,” Herod added.
The next big competition for these girls is coming up on December 7 at the Florida State Fairgrounds for the UCA Central Florida Regionals.