Cheer takes the spotlight in Spirit State Championship

Caroline Caruso, Guest Contributor

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Instead of being on the sidelines, the Redhawks UIL cheer team is going to be in the spotlight as they compete in the Spirit State Championship competition on Friday at the Fort Worth Convention Center

“With it being the second year we’re going into the competition, we know the format of it, how it’s going to run, and although it’s a different squad, everybody works really hard and puts their whole heart into it,” cheer coach Courtney Benson said. “It’s exciting to see how all the cheerleaders have grown from the beginning of the year to now in UIL and how much everybody has improved.”

Schools will participate in three different categories: crowd leading, fight song, and band chant. This will be the team’s second year to ever compete, after making it to the finals in last year’s competition. 

“I think because it’s our main job as cheerleaders to always be positive no matter the situation, I’m pretty confident for this year,” senior, cheer team member Andres Venegas said. “Even when we’re down we still need to be happy for the rest of the team. Also, we all have great ideas, so if we know how to put them together, we will come out with a great outcome, and hard work speaks for everything. The more work you put in the greater outcome you’re going to have.”

Different from the school spirit displayed by the squad at games and pep rallies, cheering in competitions like UIL takes a special kind of team according to cheer coach Kandy Stevens.  

“It takes heart,” she said. “Everybody wants to be here, and I think this group is the most cohesive team I’ve ever worked with. The energy needed is so much more compared to a football game or at a pep rally, but it’s just a whole experience. I think UIL is a great aspect of cheer that not a lot of people see, so I’m excited to see what we’ll do this year.”