On March 10, the Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) cheer team won first place in their Stunt competition at Reseda High School, against ten other teams.
The selecting process took place at the beginning of the semester. The pool of twenty girls had already begun practicing their skills by then.
The preparation for the competition was intense. Since their showcase on February 16, the girls had been practicing their routine from three to four times a week. They were constantly working on strengthening their muscles and increasing their stamina, holding practice for two hours every day the week before the event.
This routine required a lot of conditioning and practice. In order to hold a girl up in the air with her ankle and foot, one has to have tremendous upper body strength.
“Our coach, Coach Gina, motivates us to work hard every day. Before joining the team, she warned us that in order to win there would be tears, sweat, and pain, but it would be worth it in the end. She was right, because although there were long, tiring, practices every week, we spent every single one of them with positive and determined mindsets,” sophomore Emery Miller said.
The secret to the success of this team is making sure that everyone was on the same page. The team dynamic has to be strong, because they constantly push each other to be proud of the team and motivated. In performances as intense as city finals, one person’s attitude can affect the entire routine.
The girls were set to be on campus, dressed and ready,
at 7:00 in the morning. Once everyone arrived, the squad left for Reseda High School where they prepared for their performance at 9:15.
Like every other California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) event, the team was in a rush and everything was quite a hassle. “We did our entire warm-up in what seemed like five minutes. Birmingham, the 2018 Division 1 Champions,
were watching our warmup. As rivals, we knew we were both trying for the city title,” sophomore Dayanara Salinas said.
The team seemed to really come together with a shared spirit of competition, motivation and eagerness to win. The performance carried on very smoothly, which eventually resulted in the girls win over the other competing teams. When the announcer declared GHC as first place, the girls were elated, jumping up and down, crying, and hugging each other.
The girls’ next event is regionals, which take place on April 11 of this year at Birmingham Charter High School. Until then, they expect to increase the difficulty of their routine and to come back stronger than ever.
“Our expectations are high since we did win league but we are working harder to make our routine more challenging and get better. We are coming for those rings,” Salinas said.