L E T S G O, Let’s Go… To Competition!


Jenny Cubas, Front Page/ News Editor

With all of their years committed to BCCHS, the Birmingham Cheerleading Squad are now going to competition. “I expect competition to be challenging, and I anticipate the cheerleaders to be hardworking and spirited”, said Michelle Covarrubias (one of the varsity captains). The team is planning to attend four to eight competitions throughout the year. The cheer squad has been practicing roughly about 2 ½ to 3 hrs daily but, going into competition, they will be practicing up to four hours a day for six days a week. They will be entering in two separate divisions, one for junior varsity and the other for varsity. The reasons why the team hasn’t previously entered competitions are because they didn’t have the appropriate competitive coaching and the team was accommodating prior changes.

The mentors getting the cheerleaders ready for competition include: Ms. Vega (sponsor), Ms. Van Daalen (advisor), and Coach Lee (competition coach). These women are the foundation of the team, and they help train, fundraise, and support the cheerleaders. The costs of the competitions will be extensive but YPI will be providing transportation and Coach Lee’s company will be sponsoring the cheerleaders throughout competition season (as well as fundraisers), and the only costs they will be paying for is for the Six Flags competition (which is $55 per cheerleader). In going to competitions, the team is very strict, and the cheerleaders are expected to have a GPA of 2.5 or higher or they won’t be able to compete.  The teachers/coaches have these rules because, after safety, their first priority is education, and if the girls do struggle, they are encouraged to attend tutoring.

The head cheerleader of the squad is Leia Minzt and the two other varsity captains are Michelle Covarrubias and Mariam Alikyan. During Leia’s interview, she said that during competition she will become more strict and instead of being her teammates’ friend, she is going to be their captain. She looks forward to competition being a new experience, having a good feeling when winning, and expects the cheerleaders to take it seriously and give it 100% to hit every move and to do their best. Since competition has such high standards, the varsity captains intend to become more authoritative and expect the cheerleaders to bond as a team in this new experience they are about to embark upon.

Some cheerleaders are both excited and nervous to enter to competition because some have competed before, but not as a BCCHS team. There are many differences between cheering at sports games and at competitions. “There is a different crowd but you still have to give it your best,” said Israel Altamirano.  “The sports games are for the crowd and the competition is for the team and school,” added Jennifer Rivas. “Competition will be more strict, in sports games we cheer for people and in competition we cheer against them.”

The expectations for competition are high and the squad anticipates it to be challenging. In the end, they hope this experience will bring them closer together as a team, push them past their limits, and give the school a better reputation.