Article and Photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN
SPRING HILL, Fla.- Cheer squads from Anclote, Sunlake, Mitchell, Cypress Creek, Weeki Wachee, and Zephyrhills High Schools joined Springstead for a semi-competitive cheerleading event on Dec. 14, 2019.
Weeki Wachee High and Winding Waters K-8, are both having a great season. The Hornets varsity team placed first in Game Day division at the Central Florida Regionals held on Dec. 7 at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Junior varsity placed tenth, and Winding Waters placed first out of three in the Game Day competition, which gives all three division bids for nationals.
“That was so exciting, knowing that was our very first time doing our Game Day competition routine. After Hudson, we were not sure where we stood. And they (cheerleaders) came out on top. They did phenomenally. I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Weeki Wachee coach Carrissa Edwards said.
She continued, “We had to rework the routine (and) we are not putting out our highest level skills, but we are putting out our strongest, cleanest skills. We have been able to hit our routine because they’ve been very deliberate with doing what they can and making sure it’s super clean before we get back to adding in those harder skills. They came with great energy and really good feedback, so I am really excited about how they did today.”
Springstead’s coach Shannon Herod remarked, “This was just a small head to head competition required by the FHSAA. We have to have four before we get to regionals in January.” She explained, “Our main competition starts on January 18 at Hudson High School, and we want to earn a bid to go to States.”
During this event, Springstead took high scores for non-tumbling, and Mitchell took the top score in tumbling and overall.
“Your goal is always to hit flawlessly; we didn’t have that today. But I tell the girls you have two minutes and thirty seconds, and you get one chance. As long as they keep focused on technique and staying center, they’ll hit every time. They are strong in a lot of their abilities,” Herod said.
For Shannon Herod, this event was just as important as any other event.
“These judges’ feedback is so important,” Herod remarked. “So to get their feedback is to help us move our score up every time we do a head to head. They give us a lot of feedback if we are missing something or should incorporate something. There’s just a lot that they add.”
Weeki Wachee will be traveling to Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Fla. on Jan. 11 for the Husky Cheer Challenge. They look forward to competing in the UCA National Championships on Feb. 7, held at Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Florida. Springstead cheerleaders will be competing in the FHSAA Regional meet at Hudson High School on Jan. 18 and are focused on moving towards the state championships on Feb. 1 in Gainesville at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.