Cheer UIL in Cowtown


Our 2020-2021 cheer team.

Sofie Sharpe

A cacophony of voices, a blizzard of glitter, and a flurry of colorful banners. From 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM, cheerleaders from every nook and cranny of the lone star state gathered in Fort Worth to compete in this year’s UIL competition. Despite the trials of the year, they gave it their all. 


“We performed a band chant, cheer and the fight song,” sophomore Kaylee Rounsavall said. “The band chant is normally a fast pace dance… for the cheer we use signs, stunt and project our voices as loud as we can! Last we performed the fight song, which is very important because we have to be very sharp with our motions and be extra loud with our call outs. This is the last thing we performed on the mat, and we want to have the best impression for the judges in order to score as high as possible.”


Though they were only given three minutes on the mat, there was a whole season of work behind them.


“For UIL, our cheer team had several after school practices to perfect our routines,” senior Makenzie Hazen said. “We had to practice our timing on our dances and our stunt performances. All of our routines are about a minute long and consist of lots of movement with signs and flags and occasionally stunts. We struggled with the timing of our motions and stunts, but after a whole lot of practice, we began to look really good.”


Every year the cheerleaders have to work every weekend up until the big day to get ready for the annual UIL competition. But, as is with everything nowadays, there were some extra bumps in the road.


“The only thing that was different this year compared to past years was the time we had on the mat,” senior Georgia Hicks said. “Every year, during the preliminary rounds, cheer teams were given a long break in between the three routines. This year all teams were given three minutes on the mat to perform all three routines. These changes were necessary, yet made the preliminary round more challenging in order to advance to finals.”


The cut to the time seemed to be a big struggle for the team, as they were unable to recover in between the sets of stunts, twirls, and shouts. 


“Personally, I struggled the most with not having much of a break between routines and not being able to catch my breath as well as previous competitions,” said Hazen. “As a team we struggled with getting everything to look synchronized and our voices fading towards the end of our routines. But as a team we… pulled it together to show a great performance.”


Even before the competition, the new waves of COVID affected the cheer team’s ability to practice a unit.


“This season it was quite difficult preparing for UIL,” Rounsavall said. “Unfortunately most of the time we would have someone out due to a quarantine and it would be extremely difficult because each and every part in the routine is different and everyone’s spot is important.”


The girls pushed on all the way up until January 13th. College Park did not place in the finals. 


“Even though our results were not what we had hoped for going into the competition, I do believe our results were fair,” Hicks said. “We had a few stunt falls resulting in some point deductions. Therefore, the cheer teams with zero stunt falls deserved a higher place than us.” 


This year’s UIL competition in Fort Worth saw over 150 schools in attendance.


“I’m pretty disappointed with the results from UIL,” Hazen said. “But I know we all tried our best and even though it didn’t end the way we all wished it did, we still have it our all and that’s something we all should be proud of.”


Despite the ups and downs, the girls kept their spirits high, and now that they’re back home and  able to prepare for other events in the future.


“Overall, the trip was great. Lots of memories were made and us seniors really enjoyed our last time cheering competitively as a college park cheerleader,” Hazen said. “So proud of my team and I’m really going to miss being a College Park cheerleader next year. Awww CP!”