Cheer team: competition and collaboration

Cheer hosted its first competitive cheer event, lasting 12 hours and featuring stunts, pyramids, jumps and formations in collaboration with Sharp International, a cheer competition company, on Saturday, Dec. 7 in the gym.

Dedicating over a month toward organizing the event, the Mustangs accommodated over 30 teams in Southern California, including Baldwin High School, Orange County Elite Cheer and Gardentina Middle School. Novice, intermediate and advanced teams of cheerleaders ages 6 to 17 competed at varying levels.

“Now that we have [a competition team], people can know that we’re serious about cheer,” freshman Catherine Castellanos said. “It also gets our name out that we started a competition team, and that we’re ready to compete against other schools.”

Sharp International, a cheer competition company, supplied the mats, backgrounds, awards and judges. Competition cheerleaders worked four-hour shifts in groups of two or three at stations they arranged, at the registration, parking lot, snack, flower and shout-out station. 

“[The Sharp staff] was really helpful — I learned a lot. I really learned the whole dynamic of a competition atmosphere and how to work with adults,” sophomore Brianna Holloway said. “It gave us a work ethic, [which] can be useful in the future for working in an environment with people or for a company.”

During halftime, Sharp International held smaller contests for the teams with the highest jumps, cleanest movements and best high V and low V — the arm formation of “V”. After a successful collaboration, Sharp staff members and the cheer team plan to host another competition in January. 

“The competition motivated us to work harder during our practices, and it kind of gave us an idea on how our competition would be like,” sophomore Kaitlyn Tran said. “Seeing everyone do their best during the competition just really got us really excited for our own competition in January.”

In total, the competition cheer team earned more than $1,000 proceeds from hosting the event, which will fund both itself and the game squad. Focused on qualifying for USA World Championships, the team agreed this event was an effective way to finance competition expenses while building stronger bonds with one another.

“We did really well; we were put under pressure but we didn’t stress out under pressure. It was just nice [because] it helped us get closer,” sophomore Brianna Holloway said. “We’re all really committed to the team — [our main goal] was making it the best experience for the teams competing at our school.”

By Emily Cao, Staff writer
Photo by Isaac Le