The Maryville Elite Level 5 Young Champions Cheerleading team traveled to South Haven, Miss., to compete in the Young Champions National Cheer Competition on July 31. The National Cheer competition is an end-of-the-year event with the purpose of crowning champions in all divisions and levels of cheer and dance.
Teams participating get the opportunity to see how they rank against other teams in their divisions throughout the country. To reach state, each team had to qualify at the regional level in the fall and spring.
Maryville Elite earned 5th place in their level and division. The team is comprised of 12 girls, ages 10 to 18, from schools in Blount and Knox counties. Local Blount County team members are Haley Silva, Sarah Howser, Makenzie Bloom, Beth Crisp, Alexis Roberts, Alex Amspaugh, Kaylee Wooten, Nicole King and Brianna Coffman.
“The routines and stunts are challenging,” said Sarah Howser, 13, and a student at Heritage Middle School. “We love to cheer and perform our dance routines. At Nationals, we get to compete against the best teams in each state. This is our first time to place at the national level, and we intend for it not to be our last!”
Coach is Kristie Cox Hale. “They have worked all year toward the goal of winning at Nationals,” she said. “They did a great job, and I am so proud of them. It is amazing what can happen when you bring it -- and bring it they did! I want them to keep dreaming, and never stop believing that anything is possible. Our new goal now is the qualify for the 2011 Nationals in Las Vegas.”
Hale thanked the parents for their time and participation in the fundraising activities, as well as their efforts in getting them to tournaments and to practices at home and across the state.