Glenwood Springs cheer team punches ticket to nationals |

Glenwood Springs cheer team punches ticket to nationals

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” After cheering their football team on through an emotional 50-39 playoff win at Berthoud on Saturday, the Glenwood Springs High School cheerleaders had their own high-stakes competition to tend to.

Not more than two hours after the clock ran out on the afternoon football game, the Demon cheer squad was on the floor at the Denver Coliseum competing in the Universal Cheerleaders Association regional.

Luckily for the dedicated bunch, the distance between Berthoud and the Denver Coliseum is right around 40 miles, a straight shot south along the Front Range.

And not only did the Demons show up in the face of fatigue ” their day began on a bus rather early in the morning ” but they more than held their own, finishing second in their division and earning an invitation to the Feb. 7-8 National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Fla.

“It was definitely a long day,” senior cheerleader Savanna Cochran said, “cheering for the game first and then going to the competition. Luckily, it was close enough.”

And, just as the Glenwood cheerleaders supported their football team, their football team supported them. Many made the trip south to cheerlead for the cheerleaders, who earned a place at nationals for a ninth straight year.

“Everybody kept saying, ‘It’s your turn now,'” relayed Raine Girardot, who like Cochran is a senior. “Our football team is so supportive this year.”

That support ” and the adrenaline provided by the Glenwood football team’s win ” fueled the cheerleaders’ drive in what was their first competition of the season.

“It was good to get out there on the mat for this first time,” Girardot said.

Although Saturday marked their first competition, Glenwood’s cheer squad gets its season going in April with tryouts. Summer is filled with training and practices hit full swing during the competitive season.

“We spend a lot of time together,” Cochran said. “We practice three hours a day during the competitive season.”

Because of the limited chances for competition prior to this time of year, Glenwood co-coaches Jody Jordan and Lynn Goluba have frequently been opening practices to spectators. Athletes from other sports will often sit in and see what the cheerleaders are up to routine-wise.

That helps the squad prepare for performing in front of the big crowds they’ll see at competitions, where they have a short amount of time to impress.

“We spend all year ” from April to December ” trying to perform perfectly for 2 minutes and 30 seconds,” Girardot noted.

So far, so good.

On Saturday, the Demons will again pull double duty, cheering on the football team in its state semifinal game against Mountain View in the afternoon after returning from a morning National Cheerleaders Association competition at Chaparral High School in Parker.

Also looming large on Glenwood’s radar is the Dec. 6 Colorado High School Activities Association state spirit competition at the Denver Coliseum.

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