RANDOLPH, NJ- On Saturday, Feb. 6 and Sunday, Feb. 7, the Randolph High School Varsity Competition Cheerleading team will be traveling to compete in the National Cheerleading High School Competition.
This year the Rams earned a bid to the NHSCC (National High School Cheer Competition) with a second place finish at Regionals, where they were up against teams from all around the Northeast. This placement can be used as a measure of how the Rams will do at the national level. The team will be up against its fellow competitors from the Northeast as well as many teams from the South.
Head Coach Kim Moreno is confident that the Rams will succeed despite this new competition as she said, “Teams from the South have a greater focus on tumbling skills while generally teams from the North East focus their strengths in stunting. What makes the Rams unique among other teams in the North East is that we have some of the greatest team tumbling in the country, so we should be in great shape when competing against those Southern teams.”
According to Head Coach Kimberly Moreno, the Rams have been preparing for this competition since early September. Since cheerleading is not a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulated sport, it is possible that some of the Ram’s competitors have been rehearsing their routines since “May 2015”.
The Rams have been working on their stunting, tumbling, and dancing for the national competition. Their routine is 2 minutes and 30 seconds long where they perform several stunt sequences, a cheer, dance, and pyramid. The judges are looking for difficulty and execution in the team’s stunts.
Cheerleading is different than other sports because “In other sports, when you miss the catch, all you drop is a ball”.
It is a team sport as each athlete has a role being a top, base, or back spot. Stunting epitomizes the definition of teamwork as four athletes come together to execute difficult skills successfully.
This season, the team has experienced exponential growth. Last year the team had 12 athletes and more than doubled in size to 26 athletes for this season. Leadership amongst the Rams has doubled as well growing from only one upperclassman to more than half the team.
All of the team’s hard work has paid off, and the Rams will head to Orlando, Florida for the NHSCC on Thursday, Feb. 4. This competition will be different from any of the previous competitions that the team has attended. At local and regional competitions, the team only needs to perform one perfect routine, but at Nationals, there are three rounds of competition: Preliminaries, Semifinals, and Finals. In order to earn a top spot, teams must perform three times in two days.
Head Coach Kimberly Moreno said, “The physical and mental endurance needed to perform three perfect routines under the pressure of the National competition stage is challenging for even the most veteran athlete.”
At this competition, there will be 40-50 Super Varsity teams from all around the United States all vying for a national title. Last year, only 12 teams made it to the final round of competition, which is an impressive accomplishment in and of itself.
In 2013, the Rams placed 16th in the nation in the Small Varsity Division at UCA Nationals, and the team is excited to return to this competition with a larger team and more difficult routine in 2016. The team is expected to place highly this year at Nationals. Good luck to the Rams!