On Feb. 4 at the University of Florida, the Steinbrenner cheer team traveled to Gainesville and competed against many other schools in the state in order to move onto the next competition.
Eight high school cheer teams met to compete in this state competition. Unfortunately, the Steinbrenner cheer team did not place at this competition and only the top two teams were allowed to move on to the next level of competition and judging.
Last month, the Steinbrenner cheer team competed at regionals in Plant City. In order for them to move onto the state finals, their routine needed to score 60 points or higher. They executed their routine well and qualified for Florida finals.
To prepare for these competitions they began practicing rigorously in October. They practiced three days a week for two and a half hours at a time. The team also participated in four preliminary competitions, where they competed against other Hillsborough county school cheer teams.
These events qualified the team to move onto the state finals. The competition proved to be difficult, though.
“There are a number of judges on the panel and they are all looking for different criteria. Certain judges are looking for the cheer and crowd effectiveness and use of signs and poms and other things. Some judges are looking for aspects of tumbling and timing. Other judges are looking at our stunting, difficulty level, the cleanliness of the stunts, and the sharpness,” said Cheerleading Coach, Angela Haskell.
On the night before the competition, one of the team members became sick and was unable to perform so the team was forced to rework the routine. However this is not the first time the team has had to do this. The team has had to change their routine often, due to unforeseen circumstances they were forced to overcome such as injuries and concussions.
“I feel that we did a lot better. We kept up the stunts in the routine. It was just kind of a bummer that [our teammate] couldn’t be with us,” said senior varsity Cheer Captian Molly Hauser.
While the team did not place in Gainesville, they were still proud of their results and how they performed in the competition.
“I feel that they did wonderful. We reworked the whole routine and they hit the routine beautifully. They should be super proud,” said Haskell.
For the seniors this was there chance to cheer for Steinbrenner but they remain hopeful about the future.
“It’s sad because the whole high school experience with cheering is over but hopefully I’ll be able to do college cheer so it’s not over,” said senior Carina Cooper.
Lauren Johnston // Backpage Editor and Business Manager