EDE had a banner year last year. Absolutely incredible. Won the State Championship for the third year in a row, and followed that up with our first-ever trip to Nationals...earning 2nd place there. It was mind-blowing...amazing...not enough words to describe how phenomenal it was.
But what follows a banner year, always, is losing a lot of good people. Normally we lose a few good cheerleaders every year to their high school teams or other activities. But last year, the idea of Nationals kept several around longer than they probably would have. Some even postponed high school try-outs for a year.
What that means for this year, though, is that we are losing an unusually high number of cheerleaders...many who had been on the team for years and years, and who are superbly strong athletes. We had a record 14 (wow!) make their high school teams. It is an exciting time for them, and for me as a coach, to see them off to the next stage of life. But it is also sad to lose these girls...some of whom I have worked with for nearly a decade.
So there has been a lot of BS (Bad Stuff) talk about how the team is not going to be as strong this year, we're losing ALL our "good people," how this is a "building year," and other fun rumors. And I will fully admit that I had my concerns too. But those concerns have been COMPLETELY put to rest.
I took a group from Power Squad to NCA camp about a month ago, and these ladies, most of whom have now moved into different stunting positions (one of our main flyers is now a backspot!), came right out of the gate ready to show the world that just because we're smaller in numbers, we will still be the same force to be reckoned with that we ever have been.
Their camp competition routine included more stunting than any of the high school teams. It was impressive, if I do say so myself. The team picked up a couple of blue ribbons for their work on camp material, rocked the Chant Competition, won the Spirit Award (voted on by the other teams at the camp), and had over half the team nominated for All-American with three earning the All-American Award on the final day. Oh, and did I mention we won the Camp Championship too?
That's what happens when you take an amazing group of determined young women, give them a challenge, and tell them they need to prove the haters wrong. THEY DO IT.