AVON — The Avon Varsity Girls Cheerleading will be competing at Nationals in Ohio this weekend. They received first place in sectionals this season and have fundraised between $7000-8000 dollars, to be able to have this chance in Nationals.
Since New York State does not recognize cheerleading as a sport, in order to continue after sectionals this group of 16 girls needed to fundraise to pay their way there. The only other two teams in our area going to Nationals are the Bath and Warsaw , but they are in a different division then Avon. The Avon team will be competing in the Large Varsity Division, which is also the highest division.
“The biggest thing is the national score sheet is harder than the sectional score sheet,” said Ally Loomis, a captain for the Avon Braves Cheerleaders. “It requires more skill.”
Loomis and Sally Welch, both captains for the Avon Varsity Cheerleading team, needed to push their team in order to have enough in their routine for Nationals.
“We couldn’t ask for a more dedicated team.” Loomis said. “I think that we have put a lot of stress on the girls on our team because almost half of our team are freshmen. I think that it is hard to come up to a varsity level and handle the constant pushing that we (Loomis and Welch) and our coach put on them.”
“We had a plan to go to Nationals,” said coach Shaun Loomis, “but never did we expect to win sectionals. We definitely wanted to win, that’s what we were working for.”
One of the teams they will be competing against in Nationals has been winning first and Grand Champion at this Nationals competition for the past few years; it will be a challenge for them to try to take over that title.
“This will be the last that we will do for this season,” said coach Loomis, “which is why I wanted to take them to Nationals. They are a very special group of girls who always give 100 percent, and they have the will to win.”
Coach Loomis has been coaching her daughter Ally and Sally for 10 years.
“I have had these girls since second grade, I have coached them for 10 years and that is why it is so important to take these girls to Nationals.”
Out of the 6 competitions they competed in this year, they took home first place in five of them.
“I think that Ally and I have been on a lot of teams together, but out of all of them this team is different.” said Sally Welch, “It’s very special. “
“You can tell right from the beginning of the season what your team is going to be capable of,” said Loomis, “and right from the beginning I knew this team was going to be special.”
The Avon Varsity Cheerleaders will compete this weekend in Ohio at Nationals.