Morgan Cheer makes Morgan historyFeb 17, 2023 10:18AM ● By Cait Streadbeck
Morgan High Cheer team making history in Florida as they advanced two of their four routines into the national finals. Photo by SueAnn Kelsey
The Morgan High 2022-2023 Cheer team made history this past weekend as they advanced two of their four routines into finals at the UCA National High School Cheerleading competition in Florida.
The UCA Competition is a competition like no other. Over 900 schools from across the country, even schools making their way down from Canada, rally together at the ESPN Center in Florida to showcase and compete for the best routine in the country. Head coach SueAnn Kelsey said of the experience, “Competition is tough. The skill level shown by everyone is insane. It is the craziest, most insane experience to be a part of.”
Morgan High brought four routines down to Florida this year. Varsity Show Cheer, Spirit Squad/Varsity Game Day, JV Show Cheer and Spirit Squad/JV Game Day. Varsity Show Cheer competed their routine against 83 other teams in preliminaries, advanced to quarter-finals, but unfortunately did not progress past that point. JV Show Cheer competed against 23 teams but did not make it past the semi-finals. History was made with the Spirit Squad/Varsity Game Day and Spirit Squad/JV Game Day as both teams made it through preliminaries, quarter-finals, semi-finals and then historically to the finals.
In the four years Morgan High has been attending this competition, they have yet been able to make it past the preliminaries; ever. “Our goal was to just move on,” said Kelsey. “Moving on in at least one routine would have made us all beyond happy. Having two teams in finals was unreal. We were all beyond thrilled. Coaches, parents, girls… we were all crying happy tears.”
As they completed their routines one last time on Sunday, roars of support and encouragement could be heard from the audience. Steve Winn, father to junior Madi Winn, said, “Watching them perform was nerve-racking. While talking to other parents in the stands, we all hoped that the girls weren’t as nervous as us. It’s hard to put into words how much work the team has put in for this weekend. The early mornings, the late nights, weekends and everything in between. This weekend they made history.”
Spirit Squad/Varsity Game Day finished in 10th place, and Spirit Squad/JV Game Day finished in 8th. No doubt an experience they will ever forget.