The Lynx cheerleading squad competed on Saturday in their first ever competition and placed third. The finish gave them a bid to nationals. Congratulations, ladies!
You could feel the nervous energy. It practically filled Lausanne's suite at the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss. last Saturday.
It wasn't because the Lynx cheerleaders inside didn't know their routine. They had that down. Months of practice, early morning conditioning and performances at sporting events and pep rallies had made sure of that.
But this was new. This was their first cheerleading competition.
Not the first competition of the year: their first competition ever. The first In school history.
"It's really is amazing to see how far we've come," said senior Noa Siskand '18, who has been on the squad since her freshman year. "This is a completely different squad that has put in a tremendous amount of work to be ready for this type of competition."
The Mid-South Regionals are hosted by the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), one of the largest cheerleading organizations in the country. The organization uses regional competitions to decide which teams move on to the national competition.
As the ladies sat in their suite, they looked over the hundreds of other girls making up the other teams. Cheer squads spilled over into the concourse and outside the arena, all waiting to perform their routine and lock up that nationals bid.
Cheerleading coaches Bobbie Simon and Troy Allen let the girls know time was getting close. The cheerleaders checked makeup, adjusted bows, and made sure the uniforms were in perfect order you could see the mixture of anxiety and excitement in their eyes.
After practicing the routine a couple of times in the backstage area and they made their way to the tunnel next to the performance mat.
It was time.
"We got this."
Those nerves? Gone.
The routine? Nailed it.
As the team headed back up to the suite, you could see in their faces they knew they had done well. The scores from the judges underscored their feeling of pride.
Zero deductions. A completely clean routine. No technical mistakes. Third place and an invitation to nationals.
Hugs. Smiles. More hugs.
The morning runs, the week of conditioning during the summer, long hours of practice and running through the routine in their heads non-stop... it was all worth it in this moment.
State championships await. So do nationals.
So the grind continues, but this time with a bigger goal.
They've already made Lynx cheerleading history, but now it's time to do it again.