MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Twelve cheerleading teams and approximately 120 youth of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Pacific and Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools-Guam made their way to Iwakuni for a weeklong NCA cheerleading clinic held at the Matthew C. Perry High School Gymnasium here Nov. 8-12 to progress as individuals and teams.
According to the National Cheerleading Association Web site, NCA championships provide cheer teams with a company that produces top-rate competitions.
They lead the industry in fairness, professionalism and allure while always honoring the primary role of school cheerleaders … to promote school spirit and cheer on their teams to victory.
The Daegu Warriors, Ernest J. King Cobras, Edgren Eagles, Guam Panthers, Kadena Panthers, Kinnick Devils, Kubasaki Dragons, M.C. Perry Samurai, Osan Cougars, Seoul- American Falcons, Yokota Panthers and Zama Trojans participated in the clinic.
Cheerleaders were taught cheers, dances, stunts and jumps, and focused on teaching teamwork and leadership skills.
“Overall, they get to learn squad unity and spirit,” said Andrea McGillen, the regional staffing director for NCA. “They learn how to be a leader in their community and in their school.”
On the final day of the clinic, a competition was held to show what they had learned over the course of an intense week of training.
The competition consisted of team routines as well as a Top Gun portion for individuals and small groups who wanted to compete in tumbling, stunting, dance and jumps.
Teams and individuals were awarded for their efforts in the competition.
Taking 1st place in the small-school division was the Edgren Eagles, followed by the Daegu Warriors in 2nd and the Zama Trojans in 3rd.
For the large-group division the Guam Panthers took 1st, followed by the Kadena Panthers and Seoul-American Falcons.
The Seoul-American Falcons were awarded the Herkie TEAM Award, named after the founder of NCA for demonstrating the most unity, values, leadership, teamwork and sportsmanship.
“We have really learned so much from this year’s camp,” said Alexis Rabsatt, cheerleader for the Seoul- American Falcons. “We trust each other as a team now and have learned to count on each other. I am so proud of my entire squad.”
The M.C. Perry Samurai received the most improved award. They not only improved on their skills and technique, but most of all in the confidence they exuded by the end of the camp.
“They have all progressed so much and done so well,” said McGillen.
The NCA staff also nominated a select-few athletes that stood out above their peers for the All-American team. Nominees competed in one of six categories and an All-American cheerleader was chosen from each team making them eligible to try out for the NCA All- American team.
Overall, the clinic focused on building confidence, positive attitudes and teamwork, transforming individual cheerleaders into teams.