Trojan Cheerleaders Lead The Way At National Competition
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The boys and girls of Mililani High School’s varsity and junior varsity cheerleading teams came out on top at the American Grand National Cheer and Dance Competition in Las Vegas.
The 24-member team took first place in the varsity division, and the 18-member group took first in the freshman/junior varsity division in the two-day competition.
The Trojans also performed eight individual routines with six of them placing first. The individual routines consist of jumps, motions, dance and tumbling.
Two boys and 16 girls make up the JV team, and one boy and 23 girls make up the varsity squad.
One third of a team’s score comes from the first day of routines, and the other two-thirds are from the second day of competition.
The Mililani varsity squad had some setbacks at the tournament, but pulled together in the end.
On the first day, one of the girls became ill and couldn’t get out of bed, so they had to make adjustments for the day’s routines at 4 in the morning.
The second day of the competition went no differently. Another girl from the varsity team sustained a knee injury during the last warmup. The squad had about five minutes to fix its routine.
“We have no idea where it came from,” said assistant coach Brian Rafael. “We just saw her rolling on the ground.
“We had no idea what to expect, even as coaches. We were just hoping they would finish the routine.”
While the physical preparation was taxing on the teenagers, they had to go a step further and prepare mentally.
“We had to prepare by getting all 24 people to want the same goals,” Rafael explained. “The goals were different at first, and a lot of them were individual goals.”
In the end, the varsity squad came together as one group and succeeded in what they wanted to accomplish.
Rafael said that the JV team is a tight-knit group that has many more years to cheer, so it was more of a fun and exciting experience for them.
“They had nothing to hold back, and they all had nothing to lose,” he said.
The hard work and dedication the teams put in during the season paid off, and the Trojans’ cheerleading coaches are looking forward to next season.
“Our goal as coaches at Mililani High School is to not just compete or cheer at games, but it’s to teach every individual life skills through the ups and downs of cheering,” Rafael said.
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