PV Cheer Team Becomes National Champions


Pleasant Valley High School’s cheer team became national champions at the Universal Cheerleader Association (UCA) Competition in Orlando, Florida. Despite the many COVID disadvantages, Pleasant Valley’s cheer team persevered with hard work and placed first in the Large Non-Tumbling category at UCA’s High School National Competition. 

In 2020-2021, California’s state policy on sports prohibited any California high school cheer teams from stunting because of COVID precautions. Falling under these policies, Pleasant Valley’s cheer team could not stunt for a season and lacked the traditional practice time compared to the other teams in the nation. However, the PVHS cheer team fought through these struggles, which allowed them to become Nationals Champions. 

 Varsity Cheer Coach, Lexi Dunn states that these previous COVID restrictions “made the team… resilient and determined to overcome any obstacle that came their way.” Dunn focused on making the National’s routine “simple, yet effective” to “make up for the lost time” from last year’s COVID restrictions. According to Dunn, the team focused on “learning proper technique” and tried to perfect extremely “difficult [stunting] skills… rather than trying to do a lot of [stunting] skills” to win at nationals. 

According to Maddi Batman, a senior of the varsity cheer team, the COVID restrictions made her “[feel] a year behind everyone else” because of the stunting time they missed. However, “it made this year’s win more special.”

This year, PV’s cheer team worked non-stop on practicing their stunting skills, Mondays through Fridays for two hours. Varsity Cheerleaders, Jessica Hernandez and Kendal Erin claimed that their coaches and long practices pushed them to become better Cheerleaders, which helped the team claim a national title. However, Dunn says “strategy” drove the team to nationals. 

Junior Kendal Erin, states that “lots of practice [and] repetition… definitely” helped the team prepare for nationals. Erin also says that their “attention to detail and energy” set them apart from the other teams. 

Jessica Hernandez, a Junior on PV’s varsity cheer team, states, “[her] coaches pushed them to be the best” and they were the reason for their win.

Coach Dunn claims “strategy” prepared the PV Cheer Team for Nationals. Dunn knew that the team needed “certain skills [to win]… and started working on them in July during sideline season.” Dunn also tried to “recreate scenarios to resemble the stress of nationals throughout the season… so the team will be mentally prepared for the pressure.”