“We are going to Disney World!”


Colt Bender

Pictured here is the New Berlin West Cheer team celebrating after taking 1st in their divison at Nationals Qualifiers.

On Saturday, December 6 the New Berlin West Cheer team competed at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee for a spot in the upcoming UCA Nationals Cheer Competition. These ladies have been preparing for qualifiers since June, which is when coaches Meredith Sweeny and Sam Miller told them that they would have a shot to earn not only a trip to Florida but also to the national competition.

Unlike the majority of their competitions, their performing time was scheduled for 8 p.m., so the girls had to attempt to keep themselves busy all day to refrain from the nervousness building up. Furthermore, like most competitions, all teams performed later than their planned time so they had to wait even longer until their time on stage.

Starting around 3 p.m., the team got together to get ready and then got on the bus around 5:45 to head downtown. When they arrived at the Wisconsin Center, the girls took the escalators up to the third floor, set their stuff down in the designated area and began to practice their routine back stage. Their division was the second last one to go, but they were the first team to perform. With a start time around 8:30, the girls made a name for themselves pulling off an almost perfect routine. As they exited the stage, the crowd roared in excitement, especially the priority section which was composed of all family and friends from New Berlin West cheerleaders.

A cheer routine takes about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. After they were done, they came out to the crowd to eye up their competition. Carefully watching the routines of Wisconsin Lutheran, Appleton North and Menomonie Falls, the girls liked their chances although they knew it would be a close call.

Captain Allie Thomas explained about Appleton North, “I was afraid that their tumbling was cleaner and I knew that they were are biggest threat.”

Junior Jenny Jesse stated after all of the routines went in their division, “I was confident that we were going to be on top.”

After the rest of the teams in the last division performed it was time for awards. All of the teams gathered around on the stage with hopes of not only getting a bid but also the first place trophy and banner. When it was time for the small division, the fourth place team was called off, it was Menomonie Falls. Then came Wisconsin Lutheran in third and you could see the excitement of the New Berlin West cheer team. The host called off second place, and it happened to be Appleton North, leaving only New Berlin for the first place. The New Berlin West girls celebrated in excitement as the crowd roared with happiness.

They were given a large trophy and a UCA Nationals banner for taking first place, as well as being awarded a spot in the Nationals competition. When asked about what it will take to succeed at Nationals, Natalie Harty explained, “Hard work and dedication.”

The girls will be leaving for Orlando, Florida on February 5 to compete on February 7 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World. With hopes of doing well, the girls will be practicing hard as well as competing in a few more competitions before February.

Now that they have done well at Qualifiers, they’re looking forward to making their season one to remember.