Here they are... the last team of Cheerios that Saucy will probably ever work with. The end is drawing near. It's the very last competition season. They are truly the sweetest group of girls Saucy has ever had the pleasure to coach. It's also one of the largest. There was a plan to condense the two teams at the school to be just one team, but there were so many kids at tryouts it was decided at the last minute to keep two groups.
This year Saucy has stepped back and handed over "front-of-mat" duties to some very talented young women with lots of experience coaching some very elite cheer athletes. It wasn't even that hard to hand over the reigns to people that are so good at what they do. Plus, the girls have responded very well to their new mentors and Saucy has more time to make fluffy yellow hair bows, help sell cupcakes, and do things like this:
This is the spirit stick. The team has always wanted one, and this is the year their wish came true. For their last year together as a team, they each penciled a wish or favourite saying onto a wooden rolling pin. Some of the sayings were:
"Clean wins every time"
"Keep Calm and Cheer On"
"I like big bows and I cannot lie"
"Never ever ever ever give up"
"Nothing worth having comes easy"
"Athletes lift weights... cheerleaders lift athletes"
... and there were more, including a dedication of the season to a special Dad and someone (probably Loopy) even invoked Paula Deen.
So now, the wishes of the team are inside the stick. The wishes got covered with white, yellow and green paint and bedazzled as much as it could. It also sparkles with the power of cupcakes.
The team spirit stick travels to every competition and must never, ever touch the ground. You've seen the movie. You know the deal. By and large, cheerleaders are a superstitious lot.
Saucy plans to letter each one of the teams accomplishments on the yellow part of the stick as they happen. After this Saturday, there's already something to list: The Cheerios finished first in their division at their first competition and were placed second overall across divisions. It was an excellent first outing.
It was even more exciting because the overall grand champions on Saturday were the other team from the school. They won their respective level and had the overall highest percentage score of every other team in every division. Basically, it was a green and gold smackdown.
One of the judges said that the team needed to work on smiling more. Saucy isn't really sure about that because from what she saw everyone, including most of the new girls, had pretty wide grins across their faces.
By and large, their facials were pretty amazing for the first time out - given that a few of them are new to cheerleading. They will only get more confident as the season goes along.
No matter what the judges saw, it was cool that people from the stands came up to Saucy afterwards to say what a joyful team they are to watch. That's a pretty powerful word... joyful. Especially coming from other coaches and total strangers.
Isn't that what it's supposed to be about? Spreading good cheer and being joyful, over every other thing. This group has that in spades. They don't really need a spirit stick to bring it when they perform. The spirit isn't inside the stick, it's inside each one of them.
And now, they have a little taste of success to build on and away they go... increasing their level of difficulty every single time they compete.
But always, always smiling and spreading joy.
|This is joy!|
The team won't practice for a whole week now, they have final exams. Saucy scheduled the wisdom teeth on her left side to come out tomorrow, taking advantage of this little cheer down-time. If she doesn't blog for a few days, she hasn't abandoned you again.
She's just on the sofa, watching taped television shows and holding a bag of frozen peas to her face. Wish her luck... she's a little nervous. She needs a little spirit from that stick right about now.