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Cheerleaders gain national recognition

January 31, 2013

 

The A. E. Phillips Lab School middle school cheerleaders pose with their trophy and banner after winning first place at the National Cheer Association’s Junior High competition. – Submitted photo

ADDIE MARTIN
Staff Reporter

 

For several months they practiced, conditioned and worked nonstop to simply represent Louisiana Tech to the nation in the longest two minutes of their lives.

 

On Jan. 17, the Regal Blues and Tech cheerleaders loaded a bus at 12:30 a.m. to begin their journey to Orlando, Fla. for the 2013 Universal Cheerleading Association College Nationals.

 

Steven Ehrhard, Tech cheerleading coach, said he could not be more proud of his cheerleaders and the Regal Blues for representing Tech so well to the nation.

 

“Louisiana Tech is an amazing place, filled with some amazing athletes,” he said. “Our dance and cheer teams work very hard every day to make sure they are getting better in their skills and that they represent the university the best that they can.”

 

Ehrhard said the cheerleaders sacrificed their time with friends and family and committed to countless hours of conditioning and training in order to be prepared both mentally and physically to compete with some highly respected cheer programs in the nation.

 

“As a coach, I will tell you the team has been practicing for nationals since try-outs,” he said. “Each member is constantly evaluated on skills progression, and it was September when we began working on competition elements that all fell into place around November.”

 

Makayla Hill, a sophomore kinesiology major, said the strenuous practices were definitely worth it in the end because there is no greater feeling than representing the university in the winner’s circle.

 

“This was my first college nationals experience, and it was absolutely amazing,” she said.

 

The Tech cheerleaders showed off their difficult, but well worth it, journey as they brought home the title of 13th in the nation.

 

“It was Tech’s first time in eighteen years to bring home a trophy, and being part of the team that got to bring home a trophy is unforgettable,” Hill said. “Being 13th in the nation is incredible.”

 

Ehrhard said the Tech cheerleaders compete against Division 1A teams in a very difficult division full of programs that are respected in the cheer world.

 

“The greatest moment was watching their hard work payoff and hearing Louisiana Tech University being called out on that winner’s stage,” he said.

 

Though the Tech cheerleaders are proud to bring home a remarkable win, the Regal Blues are thankful for their two minutes on stage.

 

Lauren Derveloy, the Regal Blues’ coach, said juggling the practices, extra workouts, dance clinics and athletic events, plus raising all of the money to financially make it to nationals is a reward alone.

 

“We represented Louisiana Tech for the first time on a national level, and that was a victory in itself,” she said. “There were 26 teams that competed the first day and only 13 made it to the second day.”

 

Derveloy said the Regal Blues will compete next year, without a doubt.

 

“I would be silly to have watched all those dancers who were in the top five and not want to guide my girls to get there,” she said. “We all came back with a will to get there and now it’s time to act upon it.”

 

Ehrhard said as a program, it is the Tech cheerleaders and Regal Blues goal and desire to be able to compete every year in College Nationals because it allows the spirit program to recruit from around the nation and helps spotlight our very own LA Tech.

 

“The ability to compete on a national scene and doing well brings that sense of achievement and pride to the program and to the members of the spirit groups,” he said. “This competition season was definitely one to remember and the start of many great seasons to come.”

 

Email comments to alm085@latech.edu.

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