The Cheeriffic All-Star cheerleaders of Logan wrapped up another successful weekend at the US Finals in Indianapolis, Ind., on Sunday.
Two Cheeriffic teams captured US Finals championships.
The Cheeriffic Tiny 1 team took first place in its 11-team division, while the Cheeriffic Youth 2 squad grabbed first in a 13-team field. The Cheeriffic Junior 3 team was third place in a division that featured 12 squads.
The Tiny 1 team from Cheeriffic, last year’s overall national champion in its division, toppled teams from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The Youth 2 team, competing in Division II, beat squads from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Cheeriffic’s oldest team, the Junior 3 squad, beat out cheerleading teams coming from the states of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Colorado. The Terre Haute Cheer University All-Stars of Terre Haute, Ind., were the winners while the Power Cheer All-Stars of Louisville, Ky., were second.
One of Cheeriffic’s coaches, Brittney Hartman, said she was pleased with the performance.
“I am blown away by how well our teams did in Indy over the weekend,” she said. “Their routines were as perfect as a cheer routine can be. To walk out of the arena of one of the largest US Finals held with two first places and a third place is a huge accomplishment.
“Our Tiny, Youth, and Junior teams were on fire with their performances. Even as our teams were warming up backstage, teams from other gyms stopped what they were doing to watch our girls. It was exactly the confidence boost all our teams needed to be able to hit the stage and own it.”
Heather Bryant, Cheeriffic’s other coach, said it’s been another outstanding season.
“Wow, five for five,” she said. “The Tinys and Youth 2’s undefeated season doesn’t get any better than this. These amazing athletes have made Cheeriffic so proud. They have hearts of a champion and show it in every aspect of their lives. As I reflect back over the weekend, I can’t help thinking about how The Cheeriffic girls were more determined and driven than ever. They wanted those white jackets and rings.”
The US Finals in Indianapolis is one of the largest youth all-star cheerleading competitions in the country as squads converged on the Hoosier State from all over the midwest, Mid-Atlantic and as far away as Ontario, Canada and the Rocky Mountain states.
With the Cheeriffic Tiny and Youth teams both taking first place hopes are still alive for overall national championships, however, other US Finals events are still to take place in Pensacola, Fla. (April 16-17), Chicago (April 16), Kansas City (April 16), Providence, R.I. (May 7-8) and Virginia Beach, Va. (May 7-8).
The season is not over for the Cheeriffic Youth 2 team.
Earlier in the season, the squad won a bid to the Division II Summit, scheduled for April 30-May 1 in Tampa, Fla.
Cheeriffic’s Junior 3 squad made it to last year’s all-division Summit, which was held in Orlando, Fla., at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, taking 22nd place in an ultra difficult 34-team field against squads from around the world from such places as Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Metro New York City and Tokyo, Japan.
This year’s Summit, the defacto national championships in youth all-star cheerleading, is being split into two divisions — Division I for big gyms and Division II for small gyms such as Cheeriffic. Last year’s Summit was not split as small gyms such as Cheeriffic were lumped into one division with large gyms from major cities.
“The Youth 2 team wowed Indy with their flawless performance,” Bryant said. “This team has been on fire since Day One. I can’t wait to see this team compete in Tampa at the Summit. Their catch phrase is, ‘Where bids are earned not given.’ And truly that’s our Youth 2 team. Our Junior 3 team had their best performances of the season and I couldn’t be more proud of them. I’ve been very blessed to coach these young ladies for several years. Over half of the team started Cheeriffic when they were Tinys age.”
Hartman said the girls of Cheeriffic have grown so much this season in so many ways.
“Our girls have grown so much over this season, not only as cheerleaders, but as young ladies,” she said. “They all have great traits that they carry — hard work, dedicated, caring, motivating, the list goes on and on. It is a blessing to be able to coach them. Over this season and past seasons, not only have myself and Heather taught the girls a lot but they have each impacted my life for the better. They have brought me so much joy and happiness. And taken me and my daughter, Hadley, in as their family too. They are Hadley’s cheer sisters and always will be.
“There is still so much more in store for Cheeriffic and I cannot wait to take this journey with the amazing coaches, athletes, and parents. So very thankful for the accomplishments the teams have won and appreciative of the blessings that will come in the future.”
Teams from Cheeriffic have claimed six overall national championships in the last four years.
“Throughout the years, these girls have achieved championship after championship. I’m just amazed with them every year and honored to be their coach,” Bryant said. “My mother’s Bible lesson in Indy this past weekend sums it up perfectly. “FROG” is Fully Rely On God. Our girls and ourselves truly believe that too. We know He is the one that sees us through and makes the way for our teams and their accomplishments. Without God, none of our awards would be possible. And we give all the glory to Him.”
“It warms my heart to see the girls truthfully believe in the power of the Lord,” she said. “While backstage, one of our Youth 2 girls looked at Heather and myself and said, ‘Hey! You know we have a leap frog in our routine. The Bible lesson was to really help us.’ She was referring to Ms. Teresa’s Bible lesson on FROG that morning. “Fully Rely On God.” And that’s something that all our athletes do.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).