Cheer Spirit Nationals

“The whole season was an up and down roller coaster ride, so when we won Nationals, it was the icing on the top of the cake,” says Michaela O’Brien, Senior captain of the Terra Linda Varsity Cheerleaders of 2018. This year, the Terra Linda Varsity Cheer Team competed and placed first in Nationals. Nationals is a widespread competition where cheerleaders at the highschool level preform. TL cheer hasn’t won such a huge competition in a long time, showing this year’s cheer team honored TL with a lot of pride. Nationals has not only shown TL cheer is not a team to be messed with, but has also impacted the lives of those involved.

Filled with girls 9th through 12th grade, the TL Varsity Cheer team is extremely skilled and accomplished. Freshman Rosie Cifuentes, who began cheer this year, explains that cheerleading exceeded her greatest expectations, and she could not be happier with the accomplishments of the team. “Honestly it’s a dream come true! I feel very proud of myself and the team because it’s something huge that we’ve accomplished in life and I can’t wait to face the future.” Inspired at a young age by the movie Bring It On to become a cheerleader, Rosie feels she has a lot to improve on, but is passionate about cheer, “I was the most excited human being on Earth when I was chosen to be on Varsity, and honestly it was one of the best days of my life because it’s my first year doing this sport…My goals for cheer are being more comfortable and to be able to lead the crowd, and to be the most flexible and sassy flyer.”

Interestingly, TL’s rival, San Rafael High, placed first place in another division that allowed boys to compete. However, thoughts of the friendly rivalry were upstaged and exceeded by the achievements of Terra Linda’s cheerleaders. O’Brien was actually glad that SR placed first, saying, “SR isn’t in our division so it’s like they also got first with us. It’s nice that they placed first and we got first. We were both really happy for eachother.” Rosie was pleased as well, asserting, “I am also very proud that SR placed first, they deserved it and that’s what happens when you work hard. I made really great friends with some people at SR and I am so happy for them. I believe TL Varsity should allows boys, depending on if they are right for Varsity, but it would be so cool if boys joined.”

USA Spirit Nationals took place in Anaheim, California, where the Trojans competed against twenty-seven other teams from across California. They were judged on a wide variety of things including technique, sportsmanship, tumbling, volume, difficulty, and many more. TL participated in the Small Varsity Show Cheer Novice category, while San Rafael competed in a similar category that was co-ed.

This year has been the last of O’Brien’s cheer career, and although she’s sad it’s coming to an end, the impactful achievements of the Varsity team has left her feeling enthusiastic. “I am sad [cheer is over] but also kind of happy that it ended like this since this is the best way it could have ended. Although I am ready to move on from cheer since I’ve been doing it for so long, this was definitely a good ending to my long story.” Terra Linda is extremely proud of the 2017-2018 cheer team, and hopefully future teams will be able to live up to the high expectations set by these impressive girls.

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