Pumas place 4th after controversial judgement

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Once a year, high school cheerleading teams from all over the country gather at a single competition in Anaheim. After a great performance at State, the cheer team competed in Anaheim at one of the biggest cheer conventions of the year.

This weekend the team brought home an overall raw score of 95.1, an extremely high score that should have put them in first place. However, because of a stunt which was considered illegal, the team lost two points of their score which bumped them to fourth.

In nationals, the competition is divided between two days. On day one, every team performs and on day two, only the teams who placed high enough will move on and compete for day two.

The cheer team was .1 away from moving to day-two, but because of their deduction in points, they were placed fourth.

“I fought it for four hours, but it was like talking to a brick wall, they wouldn’t listen,” Coach Houg explains, “this was a skill we had done at previous competitions and nothing was said about it until now.”

The skill which was called illegal had been performed by the team at previous competitions and nothing was said about it then, therefore, no one had any clue that this was considered an illegal skill until nationals where they then called it.

“It was definitely a bummer with how hard we worked and had that not been called we probably would have taken home first,” Houg says.

Despite this, the competition itself was a great experience for the team, “the team really bonded and we all went to the beach together,” Houg comments.

“It was really fun, but it was also really sad because of what happened,” Senior Lacey Hall says, “it was a lot of our last years and for that to happen just really sucks.”

Nationals marks the end of this year’s high school cheer season, the rest of the year will be spent preparing for tryouts.

Houg says, “next year our goal is to go to nationals in Florida, which is where all the really crazy good teams go,”

Even with the high school cheer season being over, for some of the girls, it is not completely over.

Taking up both a full-time all-star cheer team and high school team is nearly impossible as it causes too much of a conflict with schedule, therefore some girls’ choose to partake in a half-season all-star team.

One of the girls participating in this, Adriana Encinas, says, “yeah, from here on out, I’ll just be competing with the all-star team.”

The biggest difference between high school and all-star cheer is the flooring. In all-star, the flooring is lined underneath with springs while high school has no springs under the mats. Beyond that, Adriana Encinas is a senior, so next year her plan is to either cheer for ASU or continue with an all-star team.

However, Coach Houg has strong goals in mind for the future. The student body is expecting great things next season!