Photo Credits: Dominick Diprenda

       The National champion cheerleading team is back from the ESPN Wide World of Sports and has brought home more gold. The UWG cheerleading team now has 22 national titles from the Universal Cheerleading Association College Nationals. Every year the Cheerleading team heads to Orlando, Fla. and competes in the Universal Cheerleading Association National Championship. The competition is held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Park.  

      The University of West Georgia cheerleading team has two separate teams that compete in Orlando. The Coed team has nine boys and seven girls who are chosen to take the mat and compete. While the other cheer team, all-girl, has 20 girls that are picked to compete at nationals. The two teams practice year-round in hopes to hit a perfect routine at nationals and bring home a nationals title. The UWG cheer team has been a power house bringing home gold and silver since 2002.  

      In 2017 both teams brought home the gold making those the 21st title held by UWG cheer. One year later the coed and all-girl teams went back down in hopes to regain their national titles. The coed team coached by Brian Nichols and Nicole Nichols have now won the UCA Nationals five times in a row. The all-girl team coached by Nicole Nichols and Brionna Lannom, coming off a huge win against their rival team Morehead State University fought extremely hard to keep their spot as number one but did not reclaim their title and placed second. Teammate Faith Joseph says, “Our motivation is not just national titles because you can do the best you can and still not get first. But the feeling you get after you hit your routine and you know you did the best you can.”  

      The University of West Georgia cheerleading team had four stunt groups compete in a separate competition that was held  in Orlando. The school had two coed stunts compete and two all-girl groups compete. Spencer Collier and Vicky Jones placed 11th, Dominick DiPrenda and Savannah Gibson placing fifth in the coed division. Second place in the all-girl division Haley Marr, Brittany Castona, Faith Joseph and Asia Chatman. And for the first time in school history to win the partner stunt competition Catie Callan, Mckenzie Guiher, Mikayla Ward and Taylor Jordan.  

      To prepare for UCA College Nationals the cheerleading teams practice three times a week during the fall school semester with morning workouts two days a week. As well as football games on weekends. The most important part of the cheerleading season is over the Christmas break allowing the athletes to get five days for a Christmas break compared to the month the rest of the UWG students get. Head coach Nicole Nichols says “As soon as finals end that’s when we’ll really start digging in and we’ll do everyday practices. Sometimes two a day practices.” The UWG cheer teams then competed twice in one day on Jan. 13 at the Universal Cheerleading Association College Nationals. The teams go through the same process every year hoping to bring home more national titles to the city of dreams each year.  

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