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Demon cheerleaders continue winning tradition

Phil Sandoval

Commitment and consistency.

Those traits have made Glenwood Springs High School’s cheerleading squad one of the best in Colorado.

And with a winning performance recently at the Universal Cheerleader Association’s summer camp at Regis University in Denver, this year’s Demon cheerleaders continue that tradition.

“This was the best squad we ever had at camp, and we had a lot of fun with them,” said Kim Richardson, who coaches the squad along with Lynn Goluba and Jody Jordan.

The challenge of continuing a strong tradition appeared to be a tough one for the coaching staff heading into summer camp.

Due to graduation of older girls, this year’s squad was one of the youngest in age and cheerleading experience.

Of the 19 members on the 2002-03 cheerleading squad to attend the camp, only five had previously attended.

Richardson said a talk by the squad’s returning veterans to the first-year cheerleaders eased the newcomers fears of what camp was like.

“That was the biggest thing,” the coach said. “We also told them that we didn’t expect anything less or more than from them than past teams, and they rose to the occasion.”

Goluba added that the squad’s work ethic and willingness to accept challenges also played a key role in their success.

“Kids like to be challenged,” she said. “We told them to do the best for yourself and they all did that.”

After four days of intensive training, the camp concluded with the Demons vying for the camp championship.

The competition featured a number of Front Range schools.

Glenwood’s top challenger was Class 5A Eaglecrest, a perennial qualifier at the national level, and multiple state champion at the annual Colorado High School Activities Association’s Spirit Championships.

But the Demons came out on top.

The Regis camp was one of the largest in the state. More than 530 high school cheerleaders attended, Richardson said.

“At first, camp sounded like it was really hard,” said freshman Maggie Tolan of the experience.

She said the toughest part of camp, besides the heat, was the final evaluation to determine the top squad.

“I just wanted to do my best and not mess up,” Tolan said of the final evaluation judged by the camp’s instructors.

“In years past, Glenwood has not gotten first place, so we’re off to a really good start.”

Nakita Danielly, a member of the Demons’ girls basketball and track teams, joined the squad this year.

The junior was a cheerleader in middle school and had attended a cheer camp before. She came away impressed.

“I was way happy and felt really good about it,” Danielly said of camp and the squad’s accomplishments.

“I was confident about camp, because I had seen it before and I always wanted to do it.”

Four Demon squad members, Courtney McCallum, Ali Tonozzi, Michelle Whitten and Tessie Tracy, earned individual camp “all-star” honors.

The award places them among the top five percent of cheerleaders in the United States that attend a UCA summer camp.

Cheerleaders awarded the distinction earn an invitation to participate overseas during the Christmas holidays.


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