Cheerleaders excel at camp

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2003

MANKATO &045; The second camp of the summer was similar to the first for members of the Albert Lea High School cheerleading squad.

The Tigers learned a lot and claimed several awards.

They also earned some prestigious invitations as nine cheerleaders and coach Donna Marty participated in a National Cheerleaders Association event at Minnesota State-Mankato.

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The girls were placed in the intermediate/advanced stunt classes and advanced cheer classes. They also participated in workshops for jump technique, leadership, dance, team building and bleacher mania. Instruction began at 8:30 a.m. and finished up 9 p.m.

Coach Marty attended coaching classes including effective practices, stunt safety, basket toss problem solving, team building, jump technique and strength exercises as well as idea sharing time with other coaches across the state. She received her 12th coaching certification as well as continuing education credit.

On the first night of camp, the Tigers team performed a cheer they had prepared before leaving for camp. The NCA staff gave the team a technical excellence certificate for the area of jump technique. They also received a certificate recognizing excellence in the Home Cheer category, and were one of only three teams awarded a spirit stick that day, given to teams showing the most sincere spirit and enthusiasm along with attitude, promptness, cooperation, leadership and relationships with other squads.

On day two the team garnered technical excellence certificates in the areas of motion technique, smart and safe stunting and a team certificate which was voted on by the other teams at camp for the one squad that day who demonstrated true team unity, spirit and leadership. They again received a second spirit stick.

Day three saw the team again receive technical excellence certificates in the areas of motion technique, smart and safe stunting technique and another spirit stick. Throughout the week the NCA staff was recognizing girls in the areas of jumps, tumbling, stunting, motion technique, leadership, and dance for invitations to try out for All-American.

Kristin Mummert, Kaylee Hable, Jesse Tuttle, Ashley Judd and Sasha Flores were recognized during the week as potential All-American candidates, who if they wished, could try out for this award.

Friday was final evaluations and team competition day.

The Albert Lea team received a spirit stick and a Top Team certificate for being selected as one of the three top teams participating at this camp. They also received the Herkie T.E.A.M. plaque voted on by the other teams to the one squad that showed true team unity, spirit, and leadership throughout the entire week. The Spirit Megaphone trophy also went to Albert Lea for being recognized as the one squad who added the most spirit, enthusiasm and fun to the entire camp all week. During the four-day camp, eight Superior ribbons were awarded during daily cheer and chant evaluations. A Superior ribbon is given to the team which displays strong technique, leads the crowd well, and performs with no noticeable mistakes.

Albert Lea and St. Clair were the only teams at the Mankato camp receiving an invitation to participate at the nationally-televised NCA competition held in Dallas each December. This invitation was based on the technical scores from the Home Cheer routine. To qualify the team needed to score above 55 points out of 70. The Albert Lea team scored 60, with most loss of points occurring in lack of tumbling skills.

Because of the level of excellence shown, the Albert Lea team was also invited to participate in the Orange Bowl halftime show held in Miami, Fla.

Individually, the team voted Kristin Mummert to attend the captain’s workshops where goal setting, mission statements and team components were addressed.

More than 25 girls tried out for All-American and three Albert Lea girls made the final seven-member All-American Team. Those receiving this prestigious cheerleading award are Mummert, Sasha Flores and Ashley Judd. To gain All-American status each participant needed to score 23 out of 30 points during the tryout in areas of triple jumps, tumbling, enthusiasm, motion technique as well as memory and execution of cheer material taught at camp.

The highest individual camp honor also went to a Tiger cheerleader.

Sasha Flores, a sophomore, received the NCA Top All- American award. This is awarded to the individual who gained the top score during the All-American tryouts. She now has been invited to participate in the Hula Bowl held in Maui, Hawaii.

“This was a terrific representation of the ALHS cheer program,&uot; said Coach Marty. &uot;For our program to be recognized so highly by NCA where the focus is on fundamental skills as well as team unity concepts and genuine spirit is quite an honor. The girls truly set an example for the rest of the teams at the camp to follow not only in terms of skills but also in leadership and helping other teams achieve their goals. Many other towns looked to the Albert Lea girls for assistance in different technique areas as well as for camaraderie and fun activities between towns.”