The University of West Georgia Cheerleading Squads will be heading to Orlando, Florida to the Universal Cheerleaders Association’s National Competition on January 17th. Both squads, All-Girl and Co-ed, are competing for what will be UWG’s eighteenth National title for cheerleading: All-Girl holding 7 National Championship titles and Co-ed with 9. All-Girl will be going for their fourth national title in a row.
Both UWG squads were selected in May and have been preparing for nationals since day one. Unlike other sports, these squads only have one chance to show what they are worth. Although the cheerleaders do sideline cheer for UWG’s football and basketball teams, it is nothing compared to what is done at nationals. ‘Every thing comes down to that two minutes and thirty seconds. We don’t have games to prove ourselves,’ says Stephanie Kyne, a senior veteran All-Girl cheerleader, ‘We’re given two minutes to show the judges why we should be named National Champions.’
For Seniors Stacey and Stephanie Kyne from Wisconsin, this will be their last time stepping foot on the national’s floor in Orlando. The Kyne sisters came to UWG for the cheerleading program that is well known nation wide. ‘When we walk in to nationals, people know who we are,’ says Stacey, “They know our past and our program.’ Both the Kyne sisters have won their last three national competitions and are going for their fourth this weekend. Stacey Kyne remembers her first time being on the floor and the nerves going through her body. “Being on the floor is the most nerve wrecking thing that I have ever experienced,‘ said Stacey ‘Nothing will ever compare to the first time we competed and won.”
The All-Girl squad is made up of 32 girls of whom only 20 get to compete on the floor in Orlando. This year, there are eight veterans and only three seniors, Jessica Fuller and the Kyne sisters, indicating that 12 girls will be hitting the national’s floor for the first time. The concern for having little returning girls is not one for Stacey. ‘The nerves will never change even if we were hitting the floor with 20 veterans or 20 freshman,’ says Stacey, ‘The one time is so important. You just have to be confident in your team that they will hit.” Both squads practice everyday during ‘National Season’ to perfect their routines and to ensure that they are nationals ready.
The UWG Cheerleading squads will be performing their routines at their Friends and Family night on January 15 at 8 p.m. in the University Coliseum. The squads leave January 17th for Orlando and hit the floor January 18th with All-Girl’s preliminary performance at 12:35 p.m. and Co-Ed performing at 7:46 p.m. They will perform in a preliminary round and if they make top 5, will perform again later that day for the title. Follow UCA Updates on twitter for updates of the competition.