Showing spirit: Chico finishes in top 20 at state

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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Spirited Crew

SPIRITED CREW – The Chico High School cheerleaders finished 16th in 2A at the state championships last week in Fort Worth. Submitted photo

The Chico High School cheerleaders are once again one of the best 20 2A squads in Texas.

The Chico squad finished 16th last Thursday at the University Interscholastic League state championships at the Fort Worth Convention Center. It was the second straight year for Chico to make the finals and finish in the top 20.

“They take a lot of pride [in competing]. It’s a lot of effort and work to get ready for competition,” said Chico cheerleading sponsor Lisa McDaniel.

“We were going for a top-10 finish. They were a little disappointed.”

McDaniel said the squad starts preparing for the competition as the football season winds down in the fall. This year, the team went to another competition to prepare for the UIL championships. They also have workouts each day in class.

The spirit competition focuses on the game day role of cheerleaders. The squads compete in three categories – crowd leading, fight song and band dances. The teams compete in three sessions in the prelims. If a team advances to the finals, they perform all three together.

“It’s very tiring,” said junior captain Kellyn Evans about the finals.

Seven of the team’s 11 members were making the return trip to state, including Evans.

“We went into this competition with a lot of confidence,” Evans said. “We felt confident we could make it to the finals.”

Chico not only made the finals but found itself in the top 10 at eighth entering the championship round.

McDaniel and Evans said the squad gave a strong performance in the finals.

“It’s crazy when you look at the original scores,” Evans said. “A team that was 15th ended up second. It’s a different panel of judges.”

Of the 11 members, Kayla Clampitt was the lone senior. Clampitt, who did not cheer as a junior, was glad to come back to the sport and end her career at state.

“Entering the last competition, all the emotions hit me. This was the last time I’d cheer with all of them,” Clampitt said.

Evans, who wants to cheer in college, expects the squad to compete for a title next year and keep up the now high standards.

The team members are: Emily McDaniel, Cassie Byers, Cambryn Riddles, Aly Lujan, Maddie Hager, Aubrey Willett, Kellyn Evans, Macy McDaniel, Calli Gordon, Reena Spann and Kayla Clampitt.

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