CHS Competition Cheer Team Wins Nationals - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

CHS Competition Cheer Team Wins Nationals

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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 2:56 pm

When the Coronado High School (CHS) competition cheer team participated in their division during the Jamz State Competition in Bakersfield in February, they won first place honors, which allowed them to move on to Jamz Nationals in Las Vegas just two weeks later.

The 36 member team (which includes 6 boys), led by Coaches Casey Popp and Caleb Judice, headed to Vegas on the weekend of February 22-23. Over the course of the two-day event, the team showed off their tightly choreographed skills with an impressive upbeat routine, and were judged on various components, including jumps, tumbling, stunting, motion technique, and pyramids.

After intense competition on the first day, the team found themselves in first place, and moved on to the finals the next day. Though the team had made it to the Jamz Nationals the last two years, they had only made it as far as 4th place—no small feat at any national event where there are hundreds of talented participants. When this year’s winners were announced by the judges, the team was elated to hear that their efforts had paid off with a championship win.

I had the opportunity to chat with seniors Ellen Gibson, one of two team captains, and Jeffrey Garcia about their team’s accomplishments. Gibson has cheered for CHS since her freshman year, while Garcia just joined the team this past fall. Gibson gives considerable credit to Coach Popp, who is new to the team this year. She remarks that Popp boasts a great deal of competitive knowledge, and brings a lot of energy, discipline, and experience to the team. This is the first year that the team has been co-ed, and the addition of boys has brought a fun dynamic to the squad.

Garcia, who has participated in gymnastics, tumbling, and other acrobatic sports throughout his life, finds cheer an enjoyable balance of strength and gymnastic skills, and offers that his time with the team really defined his senior year of high school.

It should be noted that while many of the cheerleaders participate in both football and basketball cheer, the competition and sideline teams do not necessarily have exactly the same participants, although many try out for both.

While it may seem that the squads that cheer at football and basketball games would have the same CIF status, only competition cheer has been recently recognized by the organization, and they have no outside funding.

It is, of course, an expensive sport, with costly uniforms, coaching and travel expenses, and thus the team has developed some creative fundraising strategies, including clinics, self defense classes, raffles, large rummage sales and a large craft fair. The team would be grateful for any and all community support. For more information, visit

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