The Student News Site of Skyline High School

The Skyline Horizon

The Student News Site of Skyline High School

The Skyline Horizon

The Student News Site of Skyline High School

The Skyline Horizon

Skyline Cheer Takes Fourth Place At Annual Spirit Nationals


Skyline Varsity Cheer earned fourth place at the 2024 USA Spirit Nationals in Anaheim, California, which took place February 16 through February 18. The competition has high school cheerleading teams from all over the country facing off in a test of stunts, tumbling, and school spirit through multiple rounds of competition in differing divisions. 

Each of the first round’s divisions has fifteen teams competing for five spots that will go on to the next round. In order to do their best, the Varsity Cheer team has recently been having both morning and after-school practices multiple days a week. These practices let the cheerleaders get their routine down through lots of repetition, conditioning the athletes for strength and stamina, and cleaning up the routine. When not at practice, the cheerleaders are still working hard to be competition ready. Danica Bihari said, “Personally, I’m preparing by taking care of myself so I feel healthy and prepared and by mentally preparing so that I can compete my best and feel my best no matter how we do.” 

Bihari also explained that she was very excited for the upcoming competition. She said, “I think we’re going to do really well because we’ve been working really hard on our routine. We changed it to add more difficulty and everything, and I think it’s going to go really well.” 

 However, the recent changes made some cheerleaders, like Sharp, nervous, rather than excited. “We just changed our routine last week. A lot. And we were doing really good and now we’re not doing very good,” she explained. However, it’s a cheerleader’s job to have a positive attitude. As Sharp stated, “It will be fun because, even if we don’t do good, it’s California.”

Apart from competing, the team also got to spend some bonding time in the Happiest Place on Earth. Cheerleader Clara Armstrong was “ecstatic” when she found out the team was going to Nationals (though she “had a feeling” they would). She said, “It’s my favorite competition for high school because you get to go to Disneyland and you get to go with your friends.”

Prior to their departure, the cheer team hosted an optional assembly in the gym February 12 during the 4A block. The assembly acted as a miniature showcase for the team’s competition routine. “Doing [the routine] in the gym during practice is so much different than doing it in front of everyone, and a lot of people psych themselves out, so it’s really good that we’re doing this for the people that get nervous with other people around,” Sharp explained. The routine was positively received by the attending student population. One student said, “They did incredible. I knew we had a good cheer team, I just didn’t know it was that good. I think they have a shot at placing at Nationals.”

That they did. Skyline qualified for the second round this year, taking fourth overall of fifteen regional qualifiers who were all representing their states. Bihari said, “We have only moved onto the second day of Nationals a few times in the history of Skyline Cheer, and I am so honored that I can say I am part of the team one of the years we were able to make it!” According to Sharp, the team celebrated their accomplishments by throwing a pool party at their hotel. “It was the best part of the whole trip,” she stated. Kennedy expressed how proud she was of the effort the team made this year to make this happen. She said, “[I’m] relieved and grateful that we’ll have the opportunity to look back on this event knowing that all our hard work paid off.”

One of the best memories that Bihari has to look back on is the feeling after the team completed their routines in each round. “The team knew we hit our routine so right after the music ended,” she explained. “Everyone was screaming, hugging, jumping, and you could feel the buzz and energy the entire way off of the mat. I will never forget the feeling.”

But, what’s next for Cheer? “After Nationals, it slows down quite a bit,” Bihari said. For one thing, Nationals marks the end of Cheer’s competition season. “It has been so fun to be able to compete with this team, and I will miss the Seniors and those that are leaving this year,” she added. “This team is like a second family to me and to think we will not walk on the mat all together to compete again is sad, but I’m so glad we ended on a good note.” Sharp also expressed her sadness at knowing the competition season has come to an end. “We really were one big family,” she said.

There is still a bit more in the year for the Cheer team outside of competing. Bihari said, “At the end of the year, we have a showcase so that we can show off all of our routines from the year, so we’ll probably be going back to review the old routines and add changes.” The end of year showcase will feature all four Skyline cheer teams—Varsity, JV, Sophomore, and Freshman. Additionally, Seniors will be preparing their very own routine as a final goodbye before they graduate. This showcase can be expected to contain Varsity Cheer’s Nationals competition routine as well.

Before the showcase, though, the team must prepare for the 2024-2025 school year. Coach Cassandra Lalli explained, “Tryouts come pretty quickly for the new team.” Cheer tryouts consist of one parent information meeting—March 5—and three days of tryouts—March 25, 26, and 27. For those hoping to try out in March, Lalli said, “You don’t have to be the best to make one of our teams. We look for people who are positive, who bring a good energy to them.” Bihari and Armstrong also emphasized the importance of a positive attitude, but positivity shouldn’t be equated with ease. Sharp explained that cheer, as a sport, takes hard work and dedication. “If you’re not ready to work for it, then probably don’t try out,” she said. 

The hard work of the cheerleaders this year is evident in their accomplishments.  “We just want to let our cheerleaders know that we love them and we’re proud of them,” Lalli said. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do and beyond, so thank you.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kiana Reid
Kiana Reid, News and Arts & Culture Editor
Kiana Reid is a Sophomore at Skyline. Apart from her involvement on the Horizon last year, Kiana has been creative writing since kindergarten. She spends her spare time in the theatre department and is a proud member of the Skyline Second Stage class.

Comments (0)

All The Skyline Horizon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *