Riverdale Cheerleaders Shine at UCA Cheer Camp

By Molly Seales

It has been a busy week for the cheerleaders at Riverdale Academy as we attended cheer camp at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine Texas on July 24-July 27.  Cheer coach Sidney Jones, along with most of her cheer squad, attended camp.  Cheerleaders that attended were seniors: Kenley Loftin-captain, Renee’ Prosperie-captain, and Rylee Hodge; juniors: Emma Clemons- co-captain, Emily Kirkland, Jessie Kate Cobb, and Molly Seales; sophomores: Emily Cason, and Kylie Donald; freshmen: Jadyn King, Lilly Guillot, and Kacie Harper; 8th graders: Emma Giddings, Julia Grace Riggs, Gracie Stephens, Ava Procell, and Charity Williamson.  Cheerleaders unable to attend were senior Sarah Dabbs, freshman Chloe Jordan, and 8th grader Makayla Pickett.

Camp started on Saturday with the UCA staff welcoming all of the cheer squads to camp and then it was straight into doing daily activities. During camp the Riverdale cheerleaders learned a dance and band dance, learned  new cheers to bring home, and learned new stunts to perform for the crowd.  Other than learning new material, we also learned how to be safe, discovered many new team bonding exercises, and talked about how to bring more spirit to our school.

On day two of camp, the Riverdale cheerleaders had a cheer evaluation on one of the new cheers that we had learned the previous day at camp.  We gave it our all and won a blue ribbon for our superior performance.  We also won a spirit stick for the spirit and performance that we had on day two of camp.  The cheer squad had another evaluation on day three of camp on our camp dance, and we once again won a blue ribbon. At the end of the day, we were able to earn another spirit stick which we got to bring home with us.

Day four of camp was the day we had all been waiting on.  We got up very early to get ready, and it was the first time that the 2021-22 cheer squad would perform in our new uniforms.  The first thing we did that day was perform our camp dance routine, which we had been working to perfect. Cheer coach Sidney Jones said, “I cried once they finished because this was the BEST they ever performed the routine.”  Up next that day was game day performance, which consisted of the band dance we learned, a sideline cheer based on which situation the UCA staff gave us, and a cheer.  The squad did amazing on this performance.  While the staff was finishing up judging, there was a performance by all of the mascots that attended camp. This also included a senior recognition, where all of the seniors received a bracelet.  Kenley, Renee’ Rylee, and Sarah-on behalf of the cheer squad and your RA family-we are so proud of you all and we hope to help you make this year the best one yet!  At the final awards, the Riverdale Rebel Cheerleaders ended up taking home the first place trophy in the Large Varsity Division for our sideline cheer. After this was the pin it forward award, where Renee’ Prosperie was chosen by a cheerleader from another squad to receive this honor.

Cheer sponsor Sidney Jones had a lot to say about camp. She said, “The Riverdale Academy Cheerleaders attended UCA Cheer Camp July 24-27.  I was excited to take them because this season we have 20 girls; 13 of those girls have never cheered for RA before.  Although only 17 were able to attend camp, they showed up and showed out.  They have not only learned many new skills that we can’t wait to bring back home for football and basketball season, but this week each one has gained so much confidence as a cheerleader.  As a coach I could not have asked for a better trip. I think we were all a bit nervous when we found out they would be competing in the large varsity division, because that includes the biggest and best schools.  Your RA cheerleaders put in lots of hard work and held their own.  I told them they could do it, and they did better than I could have ever imagined. We left cheer camp with a spirit stick, two blue ribbons for their dance and cheer evaluation, 1st place in the Large Varsity Division for the sideline cheer, lots of confidence, and so many new skills!”

Even though by the end of camp, all of the cheerleaders were tired and ready to go home, we gave it our all and learned many things at this camp.  We learned how to be more spirited, many new skills, and that we should never give up. We also built better relationships with each other and gained confidence.  It would be an understatement to say that the whole RA family is proud of us and that we are proud of ourselves.  The Riverdale Academy cheerleaders are ready and so excited to cheer on our team. The first football game is on August 13 at home against Central so come on out and cheer with us. GO REBELS!

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