Championship Cheerleaders

Congratulations to Foothill's amazingly talented competition cheerleaders for winning an unprecedented three national titles.

For the second year in a row, Foothill High School’s competition cheer squads returned from Southern California triumphant after earning three national championship titles at the United Spirit Association's (USA) High School Spirit Nationals competition held March 15-17 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“We set our goal to win back-to-back championships 10 months ago,” Coach Kim DeJoy said. “Nationals is the place where preparation meets opportunity. Each team gets one shot and two and a half minutes on the floor to prove they’re number one.”

The teams qualified to compete at nationals during regional competitions held earlier in the season. The competitive cheer season lasts a grueling 10 months, starting in May and continuing through nationals in March. The victorious Falcons traveled more than 4,300 miles this year to compete successfully at six regional/state competitions where they honed their skills and collected an impressive array of awards on the road to nationals.

This was the first back-to-back USA Nationals win for Foothill and it was made more impressive with the acquisition of three championship titles each year. For Foothill’s group stunt team, it was also the first time any school had won back-to-back titles in USA’s group stunt intermediate division.

Group Stunt
Foothill's two group stunt teams were among nearly 75 stunt teams to perform as the competition opened on Friday. The intermediate group stunt team gave a near-perfect performance in preliminaries, landing them at the top in a field of six teams advancing to finals. A second flawless performance extended their lead and secured the national title. The advanced group stunt team also gave an outstanding performance in preliminaries, but narrowly missed advancing to finals in an incredibly tough field of nearly 50 talented teams. In group stunt, each team of five performs as many flawless and interesting stunts as possible in 60 seconds in a routine choreographed to music. Points are awarded for choreography, execution and showmanship.

“The intermediate group stunt team had competed all together only one time before Nationals due to an injury,” Coach DeJoy said. “But then at Nationals, they gave two flawless performances to win and then followed it up with a terrific exhibition performance during finals on Sunday.”

First place and the national championship went to Foothill’s undefeated intermediate group stunt team – Amanda Arnold, Sarina DeJoy, 'Alakoka Kailahi, Emily Palange and Anika Simons. The team is coached by Kim DeJoy.

Advanced group stunt includes Zoe Cristobal, Bailey Downum, Michelle French, Gabbie Scalise and Natalie Wright. The team is coached by Megan Moore.

Junior Varsity Show Cheer
Foothill's junior varsity team competed Friday evening in the large JV show cheer novice division preliminaries, securing the top spot to advance to finals. The preliminary field included 17 teams with the top six advancing to finals. The team once again performed flawlessly on Saturday evening at finals, bringing home the first-place trophy and national championship title.

“What makes this win even more special is Nationals was the first time the JV squad competed all together,” Coach Karen Maurice said.

“We lost count of the injuries and illnesses this season, and even though this was a young team, the girls rallied back and came together when it counted,” Coach Megan Moore added.

JV show cheer includes Cassidee Banks, Kailyn Coleman, Mackenzie Curran, Mitsu Dill, Shauna Dunlap, Jenna Edsen, Karina Galvez, Morgan Greenup Emma Loll, Maddy Maas, Sara Moore, Brie Morrissey, Erin Page, Jordan Robinson (co-captain), Taylor Sanchez (co-captain), Anika Simons, Sabrina Stermer, Stephanie Tasto and Noelle Viscaina.

Varsity Show Cheer
Foothill's varsity team competed Saturday morning in the small varsity show cheer division preliminaries, advancing to finals in the No. 2 spot, but close on the heels of their competitor. The preliminary field included 14 teams with the top five advancing to finals. The feisty Falcon team gave a near-perfect performance Sunday at finals to triumph over the competition and earn the first-place trophy and another national championship title.

“It was a nail-biter,” Coach DeJoy said. “This team had performed all together only one time before Nationals due to an injury. The competition was fierce, but my Foothill girls were on fire for finals. They pushed through all the pain and injuries and gave it everything they had. That’s just what champions do.”

Show cheer includes spirit squads of six to 36 athletes performing dance, cheer, tumbling and stunts set to music for up to 2.5 minutes. Points are awarded for choreography, execution, difficulty and showmanship. Regional and state competitions are scored based on a single performance. The format for nationals is best of two performances with 30 percent of the points weighted on the preliminary performance and 70 percent on the final performance.

“We couldn’t have done this without our alternates,” Coach Maurice said. “Injuries took a toll this year, and we’re grateful to Stephanie, Katie, Haley and especially Jordan for stepping in on short notice and doing double duty at five regionals so the teams wouldn’t lose momentum.”

Varsity show cheer includes Amanda Arnold, Zoe Cristobal, Sarina DeJoy, Bailey Downum, Michelle French, Camille Hamlin, 'Alakoka Kailahi, Keri Kodama (captain), Amber Marquez, Emily Palange, Gabriella Scalise and Natalie Wright.

Kim DeJoy is the head coach for Foothill's nationally-ranked cheer squads and the varsity squad. She is assisted by Cheryl Holy, varsity choreographer Jasen Aldridge and JV squad coaches Karen Maurice and Megan Moore. You can learn more about the team’s amazing season at www.facebook.com/FHSFalconCheer. (You must be a registered Facebook user to view the cheer page.)

The road to USA Nationals is 10 months long and takes an extremely high level of commitment from the cheerleaders and families. Foothill athletes must fund 100 percent of their program costs, so Foothill competition cheer is extremely grateful for the support of the many sponsors who helped to defray expenses and get the teams to USA Nationals. We also thank the athletes and families who fundraised relentlessly for 10 months in support of the goal.

Corporate sponsors: 24 Hour Fitness, California Spirit Elite, Inc., Custom Designs & Sports, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Fresh Millions, Image Salon, Maas Brothers Powder Coating, Inc., Marleen Armstrong Insurance Agency, Olympic Orthodontics - Frederick L. Johnston DDS, Frank Guthrie DDS, Thompson Tom, DDS.

Friends and Family sponsors: Becky Dunn, Millie Dunn, Monte & Colleen Conway, Nana and Papa Souza, Ron Smith & Brent Haberman, The Moore Family, The Palange Family, Rick Storace, Birt & Kathleen Johnson, Jr., Don & Susanne Cary, Dr.  Morris Lee, John & Rita Hartman, Judith Johnson, Larry and Barbara Kiefer, Richard and Beverly Roman, Tony & Julie  Johnson, Barbara Faldmo, Birt & Preethi Johnson, Claudia Wells, Judy Kelso, Mary Ann and Randy LeQuieu, Mike Faldmo, Mulhern Family, Trina Johnson McCoy, Yolanda Moreno and Cathy Crawford.

Cheer Videos
Please click here for a website with video of five Foothill cheer competitions. Type "Foothill" into the search box and click on "All Competitions" to find Foothill's performances.

Go Falcons!

Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013