Cheer team on the road to nationals

The adrenaline rush right before performing in front of hundreds of people, competing with many people watching. The pressure to be able to hit everything correctly without even messing up a smile. This is what gives the cheerleaders motivation to do better on the mat at Nationals.

“The adrenaline before going on the mat gives me more motivation, the hype from the crowd and everyone else helps,” freshman Emma Langford said. 

Next week, on the 24th, the San Marin Competition Cheer team will be going to Nationals in Anaheim, CA against 18 other teams from California. Varsity coaches Jamie Dickinson and Miah Portje came together to coach the competition team. The competition team consists of 18 student-athletes: two seniors, six juniors, seven sophomores and three freshmen.

On Jan. 7th, the competition team went to USA NorCal National qualifier Regionals in Antioch; to compete against other teams in their division, JV Show Cheer Non-Tumbling Novice. The team came close to placing first, but lost against the San Rafael all girls team by 3.78 points, still qualifying for nationals. The Mustangs came in second place with 87.78 points.

The cheer team has been practicing non-stop since late October of last year, having some ups and downs. San Marin alumna, Assistant Varsity Coach Miah Portje, shares how she expects the team to be and their hopeful success at Nationals.

“There’s high expectations for this year’s competition team. Girls are expected to show up to practice looking sharp and refreshed on the material,” Portje said.

In Feb. 2019, Portje was also on the San Marin competition team. Her team scored second place against seventeen other teams. She believes that she can take the team to that level again with her coaching.

Portje is very confident in this year’s team and has high hopes for the season.

“We have an incredibly strong, passionate, and dedicated team this year. I’m confident in our success for this February,” Portje said.

The season started with the team’s rocky start with the choreographer not being able to show up to many practices, which put off the team to a very late start.

Varsity Head Coach Jamie Dickinson holds high expectations this year as well as she has been a coach for many years for the San Marin Youth Cheer program.

“I have very high expectations for this year’s competition team. They have been working extremely hard even though we had a rocky start, learning fast in order to make the mat at nationals in February,” Dickinson said.

Captains of the competition team, Emily Marvier and Cassidy McCue, have both been cheering for the San Marin program for thirteen years. 

“So far the season has been a little rocky, not starting off super strong because of the choreographer, but we finally have our whole routine and now we just need to clean it up and keep working harder every day,” McCue said.

Marvier believes the team has gotten much closer this year through the difficulties they have faced together. They have pushed each other to be the best they can be.

“We have a lot of talented hard workers on the team who are determined to make it to nationals. Although we faced several setbacks, we overcame them as a team, and it brought us closer together,” Marvier said.

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