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Patriots celebrate a national championship

The Pike Liberal Arts varsity and junior varsity cheerleading squads will be forever known as national champions.

The Patriots made a trip to the Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World to compete in the UCA National High School Cheer Competition in Orlando, Florida. Both squads were named Gameday National Champions.

“Super excited,” coach Katie Scott said. “We are really excited and somewhat overwhelmed. Super proud, it’s almost surreal.”

Both squads had a busy weekend in Orlando. The varsity, along with their Gameday routine, also competed with its traditional routine as well.

On Friday, the varsity started with their traditional routine.  After entering the competition nervous, the varsity completed a clean routine and were excited with its performance.

“We were super happy to have what we call a hit, which is no drops, not bobbles or no falls,” Scott said. “My varsity kids were really nervous. When it was over they were excited and they said it was fun, which is a relief as a coach. They were looking forward to competition the next day.”

On Saturday the varsity performed its Gameday routine and once again Scott and the cheerleaders were excited about their performance. After round one the Patriots found out they were in first place entering the finals.

It was then the JV Patriots turn to hit the mat. The Patriots entered the competition with a young squad, a squad that does not have much experience when it comes to competitions.

“JV had a super disadvantage competitive wise because five of my kids have never even been to cheerleading camp,” Scott said. “We’re young, they’re new. The kids did well, we had a few bobbles, but nothing big.”

The JV Patriots finished day one in second place, just .8 points behind the first place squad.

Both squads performed their second Gameday routines the following day. After completing their routine, the varsity squad was confident in its performance.

“They did fantastic and it was by far the best routine they have done,” Scott said. “We felt really confident, but there is always room to improve and room for others to improve. We were hopeful.”

The JV Patriots had anything but a smooth start to their performance. After racing over after watching the varsity compete, the Patriots had to rush over to begin their warm-ups.

“It was an absolute disaster of a warm-up,” Scott said. “We had to warm-up 10 minutes after the varsity finished. We raced across the venue to get into warm-ups, so we were a little disoriented. They pulled themselves together and did the best routine I have seen them do. It was absolutely fantastic.”

After the competition the varsity squad learned the news it was  named Gameday National Champions.

“They were able to get their jackets,” Scott said. “A big deal with the UCA Nationals is to get a satin jacket. Super proud.”

The Patriots finished with the second highest score of any team that competed in Gameday.

After racing back to the resort the JV squad huddled together to hear the news that they too were national champions.

“We listened to the results in front of the castle,” Scott said. “I’m not going to lie there may have been a time I was crying on the ground in the fetal position with children on top of me and I’m not an emotional person, at all.”

The varsity squad found out later it finished in sixth place in traditional dance.

“We are super proud of sixth place because they did their very best,” Scott said. “Traditional is a type of competition that you have to build on. They started that first step for us.”

The Patriots arrived back on campus on Monday afternoon and celebrated their national championships with pep rally in front of their fans.