Fallbrook High School cheerleaders had two-and-a-half minutes to jump, tumble, dance, cheer and perform stunts for judges at the Feb. 20 state championship competition held at Knott’s Berry Farm, and their performances launched them to the top award spot.
The combined scores of the freshmen, junior varsity and varsity squads earned the Fallbrook High cheerleaders the title of State Grand Champions.
Varsity coach Allison Abbott said the cheerleaders practiced five days a week for three hours each day, and they were determined to do their best for this competition.
On Feb. 20 they competed against numerous other squads for the title.
“We went to the championships with the intent of doing well,” she said. When the girls heard that Fallbrook was awarded the grand champion [honor], Abbott said their faces glowed. “It was really a good thing for them,” she said.
The FHS cheerleaders typically compete in about four to five competitions each season, Abbott said.
This recent victory wasn’t achieved without hard work, though.
Abbott said that a competition earlier in the season proved to be “real difficult” for the cheerleaders.
Sophomore Mikey Cummins, JV team, said that the girls attended that competition with expectations they would rank well, but that didn’t happen.
“We were bummed when we heard the place we got,” she said.
Abbott said she feared the cheerleaders would be discouraged from not scoring as well as they had hoped too, but that instead they became excited to work hard and improve their team for the next competition.
The improvements began almost immediately, and Abbott said there were eight girls who quickly learned the back handspring.
Mikey was one of those girls, and said they all worked hard at trying to advance their stunts and at practicing their tumbling.
Some of the stunts they practiced to master were “basket tosses” and “lids,” Mikey said.
Abbott was extremely proud to see them put so much effort into improving, she said. The varsity team learned an entire new routine, with new music.
“They had learned their routine in such a short time – in a matter of eight hours of practice,” she said.
Abbott said the cheerleaders were very busy, especially during basketball season when they cheered at two games each week.
“They all maintain their GPA, go to school, practice after school, go home for dinner and back for the game. They’re very dedicated,” she said.
Molly Young, captain of Fallbrook High’s varsity squad, said cheerleading is a lot more work than most people think it is.
She said the cheerleaders have to work hard on the timing of their routine and stunts, and practice daily for that one shot to perform the routine for judges.
During the competition the judges score on areas that include team timing, tumbling, team spirit, dancing and appearance.
Molly said she is really proud of the improvements her team made.
“It felt really good because we worked so hard for something,” she said, and that it was great to have the physical evidence (the trophy) to represent that hard work.
The final competition will be held March 21 at CSU Long Beach when the girls will aim to rank well and have a chance to compete for the “Best in the West” title.
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