On April 5, the Stevenson competitive cheer team had the opportunity to fly to Daytona Beach, Fla. for the NCA Collegiate Championship. The team used their whole season to prepare for this competition, making it the most anticipated event in their schedule. Other than the Daytona competition, the team performed at Towson for a showcase and during Stevenson’s “Accepted Students” event.
The group of 20 began their trip early, arriving at the airport at 4a.m. to catch a flight to Orlando. After a two-hour bus ride to Daytona, the team used the rest of the day to rehearse the routine they would perform the following morning.
On the first day of competition, there was a lot of nervous energy, according to junior Samantha Fania. With a rough warm up before their performance, the team’s confidence dropped significantly. “Because of the bad warm up, we were all so nervous headed backstage. We acted like we were already defeated,” said Fania.
After having such an unfortunate warm up, the team scored better than they anticipated. The score sheet revealed that the team would advance to the next level of competition. They scheduled another practice in order to improve the routine. “I think the nerves subsided, and everyone was excited for day two,” added Fania.
The day-two performance was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. making the temperature far more comfortable for the team. After a warm up, the team walked about a mile to the competition floor. The cheerleaders met before their performance to discuss their goal, ultimately deciding that achieving a score of 90 would be satisfactory. Luckily, the team earned a score of exactly 90, meeting their aspirations. The Stevenson unit beat Frostburg State University, Ithaca College and RIT, to name just a few teams.
With this score, the team was able to beat out other universities to whom they had previously lost. Out of 15 teams, the Mustangs placed seventh, moving up in the rankings from day one, making the trip a positive experience.