Demons cheerleaders bound for nationals
Youth and a lack of competitive experience haven’t stalled the success of the Glenwood Springs High School cheerleading squad.This year’s 16-member competitive team – consisting of six freshmen and sophomores, one junior and three seniors – keeps adding awards.After earning their third straight state championship in December, the Demons cheerleaders are aiming their sights on earning national honors in Orlando, Fla., this weekend.”I would say that if you asked last summer if we were going to nationals, (the coaching staff) would have said this was unexpected,” said Lynn Goluba, who coaches the team, along with Kim Richardson and Jody Jordan. “But with the hard work these girls have put in, then after winning the state championship, we expect nothing but good things from them.”And when the Demons hit the Disney Wide World of Sports complex, for the National High School Cheerleading Championships, an elite field of 60 cheer squads awaits.”I don’t view us as a young team. I don’t think by ages – it’s a team,” senior Cassie Croissant said. “If we do our best and come off the floor with no regrets, that’s what makes our coaches happy.” Each one of the teams earned an invitation to finals with a top-three finish in regional events across the United States.Glenwood earned its way in with a third-place finish in the all-girls Medium Varsity division at the Rocky Mountain regional in Denver prior to winning its state title at the Colorado High School Activities Association-sponsored spirit championships.Class 5A Smoky Hill High School of Aurora and Cherry Creek High School, the No. 1 and 2 teams at the Rocky Mountain region, will also compete in Florida this weekend.The division the three Colorado school are in shapes up as the toughest. Teams of note in Saturday’s preliminary round include Greenup County (Ky.), Bob Jones (Ala.) and Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.).Greenup County, arguably, is the top high school competitive cheerleading squad in the county. In the 20-plus years the Universal Cheerleaders Association has put on the event, Greenup County has won the national title 11 times.”The bar is raised at nationals,” said Glenwood cheerleader Caroline Wiltse. “In Colorado, we don’t see the best teams. At nationals, we see girls with amazing talent. When your around them you feel like the underdog.”Teams with the highest scores, advance to Sunday’s semifinals. According to the UCA, there is not a set number of teams that advance out from the prelims. The finals are Sunday evening.The team’s goal, Wiltse said, is not to win. But, to do its best.”The whole reason we’re there is to do our thing for two minutes and 30 seconds. If we do everything to the best of our abilities – it’s the best feeling in the world.”
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When Basalt High School seniors celebrate their graduation in May, they may not be the only stars of the show.