This school year has been anything but normal. From virtual classes to social distancing, students have been tossed through the wringer. Fall sports especially have been affected due to COVID-19, as some were put on pause while others continued. The Coral Glades Competitive Cheer team was ready to face this challenging season head-on.
At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, the debate of whether or not fall sports would be happening raised a huge question mark. The cheerleaders were overjoyed to hear the news that they would not only get to cheer at football games, but also have a competition season. Cheering at football games made them even more eager to hit the mats.
Although starting their season late, they began practicing and giving it all they had. Practices ran long and occurred almost every day starting from November 16th and ending January 24th. During practice, the girls would work on technique and building their routine. With limited time, the girls were motivated to push through difficult stunts and tackle any obstacles that came their way.
The challenges began to rise, with some girls getting injured throughout the season. However, they did not let this defeat them. The girls recovered and hit the mats stronger than before. Once their routine was finished they only had a limited amount of time to perfect it. Usually, the team would have months to prepare for competition. However, due to the challenges faced this school year, they only had two short months to prepare for the biggest competition in the state.
Regionals rolled around the corner and before they knew it, it was January 16th and they were ready to hit the mats. This year, Regionals were held at Coral Glades and drastic measures were brought into place to keep everyone socially distanced and safe. Competing against multiple teams, the lady Jags knew they had to perform their hearts out in order to achieve that first place title and that is exactly what they did.
With states a week away, the team came together and discussed strategies that would improve their overall score. Throughout the season, the coach Alison Madej uplifted them and encouraged them to overcome challenging skills. Coach Alison has played a huge role in these young ladies’ lives and has managed to build and transform cheerleading teams for over a decade.
As the girls headed on the road to states, they mentally and physically had to prepare themselves. While feeling ready to hit the floors, the Lady Jags stepped on the mats for the last time and faced the crowd and panel of judges. The intensity ran through their routine and before they knew it, it was over. Giving it all they had, they knew they had some tough competition to face, but the girls came together and performed the best they could, leaving everything on the mats. Placing third was a bit discouraging for them, however, it is an amazing placement with only two months of preparation.
Throughout this difficult season, the girls showed immense courage as they pushed through one of the most challenging times in history. Countless hours of practice made it all worth it as they came together and grew stronger as a team. They will never forget the season of COVID-19 and how it brought them together and created a bond that will never be broken.