As if seven-foot leaps and instantaneous herkies were not enough of a victory to satisfy the cheer squad, the team recently raised its standards by performing at a 49ers game.
As one of the few privileged cheerleading squads to be selected from northern California, the team performed at the NFL game on Sunday, October 5. Both the JV and varsity teams collaborated to perform a pre-game routine, choreographed to the song “Four Minutes” by Madonna, and a halftime stunt, in which the team pumped up the already enthusiastic crowd.
The fast paced routine was both challenging and fun for the squad to work with and taught the girls about performing in front of large crowds. Four highly qualified United Spirit Association leaders worked with 22 of the school’s cheerleaders throughout the day, making sure each squad mastered its assigned role before the performance.
The squad was given the opportunity to perform in front of thousands in return for the hard work it contributed to intensive workouts, extended practices and endless cooperation on a daily basis. Due to its success at the UC Santa Cruz summer camp, where the varsity team received an award for its superior skill and teamwork, the squad was chosen to perform at a 49ers versus New England Patriots game.
“As long as they maintain the level of performance in camps and events, they will be able to do additional events like this,” coach Toni Dreier said. “We do have a plan to continue to develop into a competitive team.”
The squad is currently considering a January clinic and performance at a Warriors game in Oakland.
“Summer practices, camp and continued development through the fall season prepared the team physically and mentally for the big performance, forcing them to pull everything they had learned as performers and athletes together for the big performance,” Dreier said.
The 10 strenuous hours the squad put into practicing for the performance was well worth the perfected routine that was the end product of the team’s efforts. The opportunity to interact with the large crowd allowed the team to experience the professional game from a completely different perspective.
“When you are actually experiencing a dream like this, the feeling of the crowd never stops,” JV captain freshman Jackie Simion said. “It’s mind-blowing.”
The trip provided an opportunity for the team to practice and perform on a larger stage while representing the school in a positive manner.
“To actually hear the constant roar of the crowd while performing in front of more than 7,000 people made the experience one to remember,” Jackie said.
By performing at a professional game, the team boosted its confidence level and got the push it needed to succeed in its homecoming performances.
As of this year, two new squads were added to the spirit team: JV and Song.
Currently, the JV cheer squad is composed of 10 new members, presenting the varsity squad with 9 experienced and skilled girls. Song Squad is composed of six spirited and energetic girls who combine music and dance into an entirely unique and captivating element. Team captain junior Plamena Koleva oversees all three squads.
The goals of the spirit program include participating in competitions and performances that will further contribute to the future success of the squad.
Dreier is confident that the team has what it takes to go from “good” to “amazing,” making all the difference in development and performance.
“Each cheer team has a defining moment when things start to come together and take off,” Dreier said. “This year, the combination of the 49ers event and homecoming stunts took first place in the hearts of our cheerleaders.”