From June 25-28 the Pleasanton High School cheerleaders and mascot, Big E, took part in a UCA camp at Texas A&M University in College Station. UCA stands for Universal Cheerleaders Association, where high school cheerleaders attend a home camp or an away camp on a college campus. There, the UCA staff teach cheerleaders everything from cheers to ways to improve school spirit.
While at College Station, the PHS cheerleaders worked hard everyday to improve on their skills. Their days at camp consisted of a morning opener, dance class, cheer class, stunt class, leadership launches, bonding and goal setting.
Kadence Kubish, a Pleasanton junior varsity cheerleader, said, “My first camp experience was amazing! I loved every second of it. I met a ton of new people and most of all I got to build a stronger bond with my squad.”
Each school was given a UCA staff member to give one on one feedback to the team through the Big Brother/Big Sister program, this year Pleasanton’s big sister was Kalyn. Kalyn helped the junior varsity and varsity squads add in stunts and different techniques to their cheers and dances. Another part of the Big Brother/ Big Sister program is Pin It Forward, where a UCA staffer gives a special pin to a camper that stands out to them. This year Kinsley Moore, a varsity cheerleader, received the pin from Kalyn and gave the second pin to a fellow camper from Luling. Another varsity cheerleader, Natalie Contreras, received the second pin from a cheerleader from Wharton Ranch.
Another event that happens at every camp is All American try-outs. This year PHS had four cheerleaders make the All American team; Abbie Gentry, Kadence Kubish, Kinsley Moore and Sydney Sykes. Please their story on Page 2B.
While the cheerleaders were at work, the Pleasanton mascot, Big E, was working just as hard. Big E had his own separate camp with all the other mascots from different schools and two mascot instructors. Big E’s days at camp consisted of learning about safety, field walks, learning how to stay hydrated, break dance class and prop class. Big E had evaluations everyday, earning three blue ribbons and one gold ribbon, both of which are the best of the best. Big E now has a signature move and is excited to bring it back to share with the Pleasanton community this school year.
At the end of each day, the UCA staff evaluated the varsity and junior var- sity squads on different cheers, chants and dances. This prepared every cheerleader for the final day called Game Day. After all the hard work and practice throughout the week, every school performed the rally routine, the band dance, a cheer and a chant in front of the UCA staff on Game Day to be judged for awards.
The sponsor of the Pleasanton High School cheerleaders, Ms. Cook, said, “ I think the girls did wonderful! Everyone worked very hard in their roles. It’s not easy to learn as much as they did in the time they had. Their hard work paid off in the end.”
At awards, the Junior Varsity was given 2nd place in the Rally Routine and 2nd place in the Chant. The Varsity was given 1st place in the Rally Routine and 2nd place in the Chant. Big E also received an award for being the most on top of things and most hydrated.
Varsity cheerleader, Abbie Gentry said, “ I’m excited to bring back the new stunts. Every group advanced pretty good on their own, so putting those all together for pep rallies or football games will be pretty cool.”