Tag Archives: UCA High School Nationals

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ Milojo Productions and Varsity Spirit to Release “American Cheerleader”

The film follows two high school cheerleading teams through their journey to win the National High School Cheerleading Championships

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Aug. 25, 2014 – Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ Milojo Productions, and Varsity Spirit today announced the Aug. 26th release of “American Cheerleader,” a documentary with unprecedented access following the journey of two high school cheerleading teams vying for the National High School Cheerleading Championship title. After months of hard work and preparation, cheerleaders from Southwestern High School in Somerset, Kentucky, and Burlington Township High School in Burlington, New Jersey, advance through regionals and earn a place in the Championship Finals to compete for the coveted white jacket – the prestigious symbol of tireless dedication in high school competitive cheerleading.

VarsityNow in its 34th year, the National High School Cheerleading Championship is a two-day event held at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando. The event hosts more than 500 teams from dozens of states that are judged on crowd-leading abilities, stunting and tumbling skills, and overall performance. Every year, the competition is televised worldwide on ESPN and ESPN2 to more than 100 million homes in 32 countries.

Directed by Retribution Media, which is made up of filmmakers James Pellerito and David Barba, “American Cheerleader” is produced by Milojo Productions, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ production company. The film is being released through Video On-Demand on August 26 by FilmBuff on leading platforms, including: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Google Play, XBOX, and Playstation. To watch the trailer and pre-order the film, visit www.americancheerleadermovie.com.

In addition to the Video On-Demand release, the film will be screened the Varsity All-American High School Film Festival Oct. 24 – 26 in New York City, along with two other soon-to-be-announced film festivals this fall.

Thirty-Fourth Annual National High School Cheerleading Championship Attracts Largest Participation in Event History

560 cheerleading teams from across the U.S. competed at Walt Disney World Resort® in Orlando

UCA NHSCC LogoMEMPHIS, Tenn. – Feb. 10, 2014 – After months of practice, more than 11,000 of the country’s top high school cheerleaders competed this weekend in the National High School Cheerleading Championships, produced by the Universal Cheerleaders Association, a Varsity brand. The prestigious championship, showcasing the country’s best high school cheerleaders, took place at the Walt Disney Resort® in Orlando, Fla., from February 8 – 9. New to the competition this year was the Game Day National Championship, where 25 teams competed in a true sideline competition.

These groups have spent months on the sidelines cheering on their high school sporting teams, and all the hours of hard work and preparation was highlighted when each team took the stage. In its 34th year, the two-day event hosted 11,424 cheerleaders from 560 teams across 30 states. The cheerleading teams were judged on their stunting and tumbling skills, crowd-leading abilities and overall performance. Teams competing in the championship had to qualify at a regional event in order to participate.

Varsity will be posting segments of each performance on www.varsity.com so fans around the world can watch their favorite teams. The competitions will also air on ESPNU and ESPN2 starting March 22. Viewers can check their local listings for air times.

The Large Division Winners (17 – 20 members) included:

  • Large Varsity Division 1 (>1,600 school enrollments): Hagerty High School – Oviedo, Fla.
  • Large Varsity Division 2 (<1,599 school enrollments): Mount Sinai High School – Mt. Sinai, N.Y.
  • Large Varsity Coed: Dyer County High School – Newbern, Tenn.

The Super Division Winners (21 – 30 members) included:

  • Super Varsity Division 1 (>1,600 school enrollments): Westlake High School – Austin, Texas
  • Super Varsity Division 2 (<1,599 school enrollments): James Clemens High School – Madison, Ala.

Game Day Winners included:

  • Large Varsity (17 – 20 members) Game Day: Vandebilt Catholic High School – Houma, La.
  • Super Varsity (21 – 30 members) Game Day: Arlington High School – Arlington, Tenn.

More than 18,000 spectators attended the national championship event, with performances at three different venues within the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and one stage at Hollywood Studios, all on the grounds Walt Disney World Resort.

The Universal Cheerleaders Association is dedicated to the safe and responsible practice of cheerleading, and all teams participating in the National High School Cheerleading Championships comply with the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators safety guidelines.

Thirty-Fourth Annual National High School Cheerleading Championship Attracts Largest Participation in Event History

Observations After Event 11 of 2013-14

Event 11 took me to the East Coast and an event I’ve never been to before. The event was fine and I feel like the teams continued to show good midseason form. Of course there were some that walked away disappointed in their performance, but I don’t recall seeing any teams that truly didn’t seem ready to perform.

On the rules side of things I want to explain what I’m doing when I’m reviewing a skill at the table because it seems to be misunderstood based on having some people say I shouldn’t have to review a skill “over and over again”. I review skills because I believe they were illegal based on watching it live. When reviewing I’m looking for what person, grip, or trick I missed live that would make the skill legal, not the other way around. If you don’t want me to review things it means I’m going to call more things as illegal because I thought it was illegal prior to reviewing.

Cheersport LogoMiscellaneous

Happy early Valentine’s Day.

Congratulations to all the teams that won UCA & UDA High School Nationals the past 2 weekends. Also, congratulations to all the teams earning bids to Worlds last weekend.

Also, the deadline for Dance Rules proposals for next season is Monday.

Finally, it’s Cheersport week. Over 1000 teams will compete in Atlanta this weekend in hopes of earning a Cheersport jacket. Good luck and safe travels to everyone. If there is any news or schedule updates due to the weather, Cheersport will post them at http://www.cheersport.net/news.asp.

UCA High School Nationals 2012

UCA High School Nationals took place on February 10-12 in Orlando, FL.

UCA LogoVarsity National Champions

  • Super Varsity I – United High School
  • Super Varsity II – Bishop Moore High School
  • Super Varsity Coed – Jenks High School
  • Large Varsity I – Hunterdon Central High School
  • Large Varsity II – Father Judge High School
  • Large Varsity Coed – Sun Prairie High School
  • Medium Varsity I – Sachem North High School
  • Medium Varsity II – Rocky Point High School
  • Small Varsity I – Los Alamitos High School
  • Small Varsity II – Burlington Township High School
  • Small Varsity Coed I – Blackman High School
  • Small Varsity Coed II – Reidland High School

Junior Varsity National Champions

  • Large – Arlington High School
  • Small – Madison Central High School

Junior High National Champions

  • Large – North Laurel Middle School
  • Small – Live Oak Middle School

Recreational National Champions

  • Senior – Springfield Youth Club
  • Junior – Commack Elite Divas
  • Youth – Commack Elite Pee Wees

Non Tumbling National Champions

  • Large Varsity – Fort Walton Beach High School
  • Medium Varsity – Minnetonka High School
  • Small Varsity – Montgomery Central High School
  • Junior – Mountour High School

Non Building National Champions

  • Large Varsity – Miamisburg High School
  • Small Varsity – Millard West High School
  • Junior – Colleyville Heritage High School

UCA: Ten Thousand Lakes Regional 2010

UCA Ten Thousand Lakes Regional took place on November 6th in Minnetonka, MN. This event had 15 All*Star Cheer and 22 Traditional Cheer teams compete. This event was a qualifier for the International All Levels Championship & UCA’s National High School Cheerleading Championship. Paid Bids to All Levels were awarded to:

  • Planet Spirit “Heat” (Junior L2)

UCA All Star Event Page

The event had 15 All*Star Cheer Teams in 12 Divisions for an average of 1.25 teams per division.

All*Star Cheer By Level

  • Level 1 – 2 Teams in 2 Divisions (1.00 Average)
  • Level 2 – 5 Teams in 4 Divisions (1.25)
  • Level 3 – 5 Teams in 3 Divisions (1.67)
  • Level 4 – 1 Team in 1 Division (1.00)
  • Level 4.2 – 1 Team in 1 Division (1.00)
  • Level 5 – 1 Team in 1 Division (1.00)

All*Star Cheer By Age

  • Tiny – 1 Team in 1 Division (1.00 Average)
  • Mini – 2 Teams in 2 Divisions (1.00)
  • Youth – 1 Team in 1 Division (1.00)
  • Junior – 4 Teams in 3 Divisions (1.33)
  • Senior – 7 Teams in 5 Divisions (1.40)

Mark’s Cheer Journal – Part 4

Well, it has been a few months since I wrote a journal – it’s a crazy busy time of year for me, so I guess it’s time for me to check back in. Andre even told me that a few people had been searching the site for my journal, so I have felt guilty for keeping my “audience” hanging. All four of you.

Anyway, we are about a month away from UCA Regional Competitions here in the Mid South, and my teams are working hard to be ready. As a coach, I always try to leave a month to clean things up before a competition. I try to not make ANY changes to the routine the last 4 weeks before a competition, so that the team can thoroughly master the routine. Of course, that is what I TRY to do with each of my teams. The first competition of the year usually crunches the mastering time of my teams quite a bit. And as you will see, not all of our teams are ready to just “clean up” over the next month.

Let’s start with my most prepared team, Graves County. GCHS has been working very hard this year and they are actually on target for the schedule that I mentioned above. They are the only team with whom I work that has been doing their routine full out for over a month now, and they are way ahead of schedule from any of the other six years that I have worked with them. We normally don’t finish our routine until September or the first of October. However, our main competitors at UCA Nationals have forced us to work harder and be more prepared each new season. We finished our routine in July this year, and have been working on it ever since. We are constantly tweaking things and altering counts here and there, but the core of the routine has been set for some time now.

Now, we did water our routine down about a month ago. We were not hitting certain parts and we felt like the routine was too hard, so we watered things down. We have set very specific goals for the team’s progress and our execution for competitions this year. We have never hit our routine at UCA Regionals – we came really close last year, and we are determined to change that this year. We hope that by watering things down we will increase our chance of having a great performance at regionals. This fact has also motivated us to try to be further along with our routine at this point in the season. We are hoping that being more prepared for regionals will translate into a better performance but also better performances down the road. Most years, we have felt decently prepared before Regionals. But it seems like when we look back every season and say, “What were we thinking last year??!?!” So, we are constantly evolving our methods and our schedule. Every team is different, and a schedule for one team may not be possible for another, but I would definitely recommend one to evaluate their performance from previous years and apply what you have learned. And just because something works for one team doesn’t mean that it will work for every team or every season.

Despite being ahead of schedule, GCHS has still several challenges they have been dealing with. Three more people have quit the team since we last checked in and GCHS will probably only compete with 18 or 19 people on the mat at regionals. We have had a few new people show interest and start coming to practice. So, we have also had to make time each practice for those people to get some reps and not just have them sit there and watch the rest of the team do the routine. The goal is to add one or more of these people to the routine after regionals. If they stick with it, then we probably will.

Up until recently, Graves has been practicing in a building with no AC and the temperature has been in the 90’s. On really hot days we try to give the kids more breaks and focus more parts. The heat is not the best atmosphere but at least we can have a full floor and work on formations and spacing. If we stayed at the high school, we would have to fight for gym time with volleyball and often would have to practice in the upper deck of the gym where we can only put down 3 mats. So, as soon as the weather permits, we move to the local rec center where we can have a space. The weather definitely makes it challenging at times, but we tough it out in order to get ready.

My other teams have not been as prepared for as long as Graves, but both Reidland and Boyd County have their routines set for Regionals and now have several weeks to just run through things full out. It is important for the teams’ conditioning that they do their routine full out as much as possible each practice the final month before practice. Each of my teams tries to go full out around 3 times a practice. If they do really good sometimes we will only go twice and then work on cleaning up the separate parts.

I didn’t intend this to be all about Graves County, but it is easier for me to talk about their practices and schedule because I talk to their head coach almost daily about their progress. I have been in better communication with Reidland’s coaches this year, but I don’t get to spend the same amount of time talking about the team as I do with Jon from Graves. Like I have mentioned before, almost all of the Reidland boys play other sports and it has made progress slow so far this season. Reidland has rarely had everyone at practice and this makes it extremely tough to work on the routine. But, they should have their boys most of the time now, so hopefully we will see great strides from them this next month. Reidland is always behind Graves in the fall but they have the ability to pull things together quicker than Graves seems too. I have wondered if it’s because they have more girls with more years of experience and that explains for their knack of being able to get ready fast. They have a long way to go over the coming weeks, but I was really pleased with what I saw from them last week. The went full out for the first time and had far fewer mistakes than I would have predicted. So, that was very encouraging. They just need to get as many reps as possible until regionals to clean everything up.

I’m not going to have time to talk much about Boyd County this month. They have been working very hard on their stunt sequences to get the “meat and potatoes”of their routine ready for regionals. Slowed by an injury to one of their three flyers and other injuries, the girls have also been working hard on individual tumbling skills since it has been impossible to do the routine full out. They have been working on parts and will start putting it all together this week. Like Reidland, Boyd has individuals with more competition and overall cheer experience, and they don’t need as much time to get ready for regionals. Although, I would like to be further along than we are at this point! Injuries have just not let us do that.

UCA Regionals is less than 3 weeks away, and the 2011 NHSCC is only around 100 Days away. Until next month, it is best to…

Make the most of each practice!

Mark Coleman

Mark’s Cheer Journal – Part 2

With summer in full swing and summer vacation – at least here in Kentucky – half over, our three teams – Graves County HS (Large Coed), Reidland HS (Small Coed), and Boyd County HS (Small Varsity) – find themselves smack dab in the middle of DEAD PERIOD. Each summer from June 25th until July 9th, high school cheer teams here in the Commonwealth have a mandatory period during which they are not allowed to have organized practices. So, despite the fact that a month has passed since I last checked in, not as much progress has been made by each of my teams as one would have hoped. However, I am still very pleased with the work that they did at each of their respective camps this past month. And, as of now, I would say that each is still on a path that could result in their having a serious chance to compete for a national title at the 2011 NHSCC in Orlando, FL.

Each year, I tell my teams that each season is a marathon and not a sprint. Each season is long and that there will be good and bad days. The teams that work the hardest for the longest will be ahead at the end of the race. I also impress upon all of my teams the need for their team to be better than they were last year. I tell them that the best teams always improve and that what it took to win last year more than likely won’t be enough to win this year. The message that I bang over my kids head is that – there is no secret to success, it is just HARD WORK.

The spring and summer are the times when each of my teams makes the most progress. Even though some of the kids work, most still have fewer responsibilities as during the summer and thus are able to spend extra time working on new skills that they will need to master for the coming year’s routine. At the beginning of each season, I set specific goals in regards to tumbling and stunting for each team – and often each individual team member – in order to motivate them during the times during which they can make the most gains. These goals are meant to push each individual but are also designed to be realistic. That way – if the team members work hard enough – they can achieve most or all of their goals and feel accomplished.

Graves County, Reidland, and Boyd County each started putting their routines together over the past month. Each team made different levels of progress with their routines, but all were taught at least some of the “meat and potatoes” of their routine. I also use potential routine elements as motivators. Since none of my teams is fully capable of hitting all parts of ANY portion of their routine at this point, the knowledge of what is expected (or HOPED for) for one part of the routine can be a powerful motivator. Setting goals is very important, but I have found that one of the most powerful motivators at my disposal is to choreograph a certain skill into a routine. Its one thing to talk about, for example, squad standing back handspring tucks, but actually putting the skill into the routine that I teach often seems to carry more weight with today’s athletes. Maybe it makes it more “real.” Maybe it communicates that, “OK, Mark is serious about putting these in the routine.” I also like to believe that the kids trust me and my knowledge. And by me putting something in the routine, they start to believe that it is possible. I have heard some my kids say, “Mark wouldn’t put this in the routine if he didn’t think we could do it.” Whatever the explanation, I intentionally do this every year and choreograph critical parts of the routine as early as possible in order to give sufficient time for mastery. It doesn’t always work in all areas, and certain portions of my routines have to be altered or watered down. But quite often, the kids will rise to meet some of the challenges. And I believe that by challenging them early on in the season we maximize our chances of making some significant breakthroughs.

Like I said earlier, I was very pleased with the progress to date of all three of these teams. Graves County is far more talented than we have ever been. The majority of the team has been working very hard and we return a lot more experience than we had last year. A couple of last years’ alternates have stepped in and are going to be able to contribute. We will have better skills across the board than we have ever had. We will have more team tumbling and more difficult elite tumbling than we have ever had. BUT… we have been here before. In 2008, we had a team similarly talented but who lacked proper leadership and had some team members who were over confident. The end result was that we were not a “team” and we shot ourselves in the foot with mistakes at nationals. So, the biggest challenge of this year’s team is to stay hungry and motivated. Most of the current team were rookies on the mat when we won this past year. So, they now know what it feels like to win. So, there is some concern that they might not want it as bad this year. I have tried to impress upon them how much harder it is to repeat than to win the first time. It’s even harder to win three in a row. It’s so difficult that only one team has won UCA Large Coed three years in a row – Christian Brothers HS. Maybe you have heard of them. CBHS actual won at least three in a row twice. Graves County will never eclipse what CBHS did or what they have meant to UCA Large Coed through the years. But we do try to motivate our kids with the knowledge that if we can win in 2011, we can be the only other team besides CBHS that ever won three in a row. We failed to win our third consecutive title three years ago, so we try to motivate our kids to accomplish in 2011 what we failed to accomplish in 2008.

GCHS also needs to stay healthy. We have only a couple of alternates this year and their experience and skill level is quite a drop from those people that we hope will be on the mat. Our routine would probably have to change drastically if one of our key stunters was injured. We train very hard to help prevent injuries, but sometimes things just happen. Hopefully, we can stay healthy this season, because we do not have a lot of depth beyond our top 20.

Our next team is Reidland HS. I have been working with Reidland since 2005 and started choreographing their routines in 2006. Like all teams, Reidland has challenges unique to that squad. Coming from a very small school (under 500 students), Reidland is constantly battling other sports teams over athletes. There are just not that many guys in the school. And if you are any kind of athlete at Reidland or of decent size, you are constantly recruited to other more traditional sports. Even though the cheerleading is the most successful sport for males at Reidland, we still have to share athletes. Because a few of Reidland’s past guy cheerleaders were strong athletic guys who are now having success at the collegiate level, Reidland’s coed team has had a surplus of guys the past few years.

The good news is that Reidland is starting to attract the best male athletes in the school. The bad news is that the other coaches and sports teams don’t appreciate fighting for the already limited number of athletes – especially when it’s CHEERLEADING. Even so, the coed style of cheerleading that Reidland champions is winning guys over enough to participate but not enough to get them to dedicate themselves solely to cheerleading. I am sure that this is a common theme at almost all high schools that have guy cheerleaders. It, however, is not the case at Graves County. At GCHS, hardly any of the boys play other sports. It is probably one of our greatest assets. Those kids literally live for coed stunting and cheering. Unfortunately, that kind of situation is just not possible at Reidland. Sharing kids with baseball, soccer, and football and trying to coordinate practice schedules is probably one of the greatest challenges that Reidland faces.

I mention all of this because Reidland just had one of their top 4 guys quit yesterday. Fortunately, they have another guy that is almost as good who is ready to step in. The guy who quit did so because he wanted to play basketball. The head coach told him that he could play basketball, but that we would make him an alternate because of the practices he would have to miss late in the season. As the cheerleading world turns…

So, when I go back next week, we will have to spend quite a bit of time re-teaching the pyramids that I taught them last month. However, it’s way better to do that now – in July – than in February like we had to do last year. Reidland’s most talented guy got into a shouting match at a game last year and we had to kick him off the team a month before nationals. Nothing like re-choreographing your routine and putting in a rookie guy who’s never competed a month before nationals! Hopefully, the potential for future drama has eliminated itself and the rest of this season will be relatively smooth. We will see!

Next month I will update you on Boyd County’s summer progress and talk about the biggest obstacles that they are facing this season. The 2011 NHSCC is now only 218 Days away. It will be here before we know it! Until then…

Make the most of each practice!

Mark Coleman