The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

Making it to the Top: Highlands Cheer Team At Finals

The team posing together with their coaches holding up a shirt they received for being finalists.

The Highlands cheer team had a remarkable return to nationals this weekend, demonstrating their talent and dedication at the Super Varsity Division II Game Day competition in Orlando. After an absence since February 2020, the team’s performance was greatly anticipated, and it did not disappoint.

On Saturday, the Highlands cheer team competed against 18 other teams in the semi-finals, receiving an astounding 82.9 points with no deductions. This great performance earned them a spot in the finals, ranking ninth overall.

The road to nationals was defined by intensive training and planning. The cheerleaders who had made the sideline team and had a separate tryout for the competition game day team won a spot on the national stage. Their hard work and determination were clear on the mat.

Despite the fierce competition, the squad remained optimistic and enthusiastic. On Sunday, they competed against the other nine teams that advanced to the final round, demonstrating their talent once more with another seamless performance that won them another ninth-place finish. With no deductions, they cemented their place as one of the nation’s best cheerleading squads.

When asked how she feels after coming home, Freshman cheerleader Belle Atkins said: “I feel amazing coming home being 9th in the nation and I’m so proud of all of us.”

Aside from the competition, the team bonded through shared memories and great moments. They strengthened their family relationship by staying together in one house. On Friday, they spent the day enjoying Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, making treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

When asked about her favorite part of the trip, freshman cheerleader Lylah Doerr said: “I really enjoyed going to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios with the team.”

The Highlands cheer team’s journey to nationals was a tribute to spirit, dedication, and encouragement from coaches, families, and the community. Their drive and passion for the sport were clear in their return to the national stage.

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