CHHS Cheer earns 17th place in first-ever national competition


Katie Whitaker

CHHS Cheer, shown performing at a pep rally, placed 17th in the nation in a UCA competition in February.

Sarah Claire Miller, Staff Writer

After their first-ever trip to Nationals, the Center Hill High School cheerleaders are now ranked 17th in the country. Cheer competed in the UCA Large Varsity Game Day division in February.

“Nationals has been a dream of CHHS Cheer for many years,” said Kristie Cohea, who co-sponsors the squad with Melissa Smith. “We feel that making it into semi-finals and placing 17th out of 40 in the nation speaks volumes to the girls’ dedication to building a tradition for CHHS Cheer.”

Smith said the experience was memorable.

“The moment they called our name out in the ESPN Championship Stadium is a moment we will always remember,” she said. “To see the joy and the tears on the girls’ faces after finding out that they had achieved what they set out to do was priceless. We could not be more proud of them.”

Reed Simmons, a sophomore, said she and her teammates have been perfecting their routine for the past six months.

“This was the first time we went and we improved our team a lot this season,” she said. “We learned our original routine back in September and have been improving it based on the judges’ input from regionals and state.”

Simmons said the work was worth it.

“We ended up making it to semifinals our first year, and we’re all really proud of the routine we put on the mat,” she said.

Sara Hissong, a junior, said their performance at Nationals speaks well of CHHS Cheer.

“Not only is it our first year going, but we also got into semifinals,” she said. “Most teams take years to get to semifinals. We practiced almost every day after school. It was so worth it. We are going to work 10 times harder.”