THE DALLES cheerleading team celebrates a top performance at the UCA cheer camp at the University of Portland from July 14-17. The members are (pictured from left to right, starting in back row), Bryonna Otzoy, Jenifer Salinas, Brianna Gamez, Jordyn Hattenhauer, Zaida Lopez, Aileen Luna-Lopez, McKenna Bailey and Tianna Smith. In the front row are (from left), Taylor Sugg, Megan Kendall, Meara Crawford, Delaney Schanno, Madison Richardson, Kendyl Kumm, Abbey Helseth, Keagan Rice, Jessika Nanez and Lillia Chance. Sugg, Chance and Helseth were invited to attend the Varsity Spirit New Year’s Day parade in London, England.
The Dalles High School Cheer team attended UCA cheer camp at the University of Portland July 14-17 with several members earning awards and recognition in the four-day event which ended Friday in Portland.
First-year head coach Kelsey Sugg was blown away by her squad’s performance.
“For this being our first year back in the cheer world, I was completely blown away by how great my girls did,” Sugg said. “For having no idea what they were going into, they gave camp their all and did an amazing job.”
At camp, the girls work nonstop for four days.
They attended a variety of classes each day including cheer, dance and stunt classes.
Each day they were evaluated and awarded ribbons for their performance. The team received blue superior ribbons every day.
“There are a number of awards each night, one being the UCA spirit stick that the girls earn by following camp rules by being respectful, being on time and having fun,” coach Sugg said. “Our girls received a spirit stick every day of camp.”
On the first day of camp, Aileen Luna-Lopez, Delaney Schanno, Tianna Smith, Keagan Rice, Jordyn Hattenhauer, Taylor Sugg, Kendyl Kumm, Lillia Chance, Abbey Helseth and McKenna Bailey each received Dancing Diva honors.
On the first two days of camp, varsity summer camp instructors looked for cheerleaders who demonstrated positive values.
Then during the spirit stick segment on the second night, each instructor recognized one participant and gave them a set of two pins, one to keep and one to give away to another participant.
Also on the second day of camp, the cheer team competed in an all-camp jump off.
The girls were asked to show their best jump in front of a panel of judges. Taylor Sugg won the jump off for the varsity division and Hattenhauer won the junior varsity cheer division.
Chance was awarded with the Pin-It-Forward award from a staff member on the second night of camp.
According to their website, the Pin-It-Forward program is a way to promote the values developed through cheerleading, such as leadership, spirit, commitment, kindness and motivation.
On the third day of camp, it was the pinned cheerleader’s job to identify a cheerleader from another squad they feel demonstrated the same positive traits/values and gave them their second pin.
The Riverhawk cheerleaders did an All-American team tryout on the third afternoon.
In order to qualify for the tryout for this team, members had to do their best jump, perform the camp dance and cheer in front of the camp and a panel of judges.
Of the six TD participants, Taylor Sugg, Rice, Helseth, Jessika Nanez and Chance, Taylor Sugg, Chance and Helseth earned spots on the team and were invited to attend the Varsity Spirit New Year’s Day parade in London, England.
On the final day of camp, all of the cheerleaders that received an America Needs Cheerleaders pin stood up and were recognized by their peers.
Added to that, the cheer members were awarded as extreme routine champions, and overall cheer champions, and they also received a traditions award, which is given to the team that brings strong traditions from home and displays them throughout camp.
“Camp is so much fun and such a great way for the girls to really bond and get to know there teammates,” coach Sugg said.
“The UCA staff does a great job putting together material that we can take home and apply to our game day routines,” she added.
The team is hosting a fundraiser from 5-8 p.m. tonight at The Dalles Burgerville on 118 W. 3rd Street.
Patrons can enjoy dinner, drinks and desserts and have their faces painted by members of the team.
Ten percent of all money raised go to the program.
For additional information or to donate, call 541-298-5753.