The cheerleading squad, made up of nearly 15 local students, will be in the national competition July 21 and 22 in Chicago.
“For our fall season we competed in our regional competition, placing second, which then moved us on to our state competition where we got third. We acquired enough points in our regional competition to move us on to nationals this summer. Now we're in our spring season and will be competing on April 28,” coach Amie Smarr said. “I've been coaching this squad for two years now and it's through the company Champion Force Athletics.”
This is the first time the Sandusky SuperNovas have qualified for nationals.
“Last year we were 2/10 points away from making it to nationals and I think that's made the girls work harder to get to the level that they're at and it has certainly shown in practice and on the mats. Their hard work got them a spot in nationals and they're working even harder to prep for that as well as other competitions,” Smarr said.
The cheerleaders going to nationals are in the “elite squad.”
“We have multiple squads for every age range,” Smarr said. “We require previous cheer experience, tumbling experience and stunting knowledge.
“Right now we're preparing for our spring season regional competition and will hopefully move onto state, but we always have nationals in the back of our minds. We're really focused on more complex stunting.”
Members of the elite squad are: Western Reserve High School senior Baylee Marshall; Western Reserve juniors Kaitlynn Boswell and Victoria Quillen; Western Reserve eighth-graders Lacey Greszler and Joslyn White; New London High School juniors Callie Carmean and Marley Gussler; South Central High School sophomore Emily Walcher; Edison High School sophomore Halle Patton; Edison fourth-grader Peyton Koch; Edison sixth-grader Shalyn Stutsman; Townsend junior Maria Lowery; Norwalk High School junior Savannah Stacy; and Raigan Balmer, a fifth-grade student at Huron Elementary School.
Their coach was asked about the challenges of having cheerleaders from different schools on one squad.
“I think getting them all into the routine of working together as a squad (is challenging). It always takes time in the beginning of our fall season for the newer girls to get comfortable around everyone,” Smarr said.
“A lot come in not knowing what to expect either. It's not run like the usual middle school or high school cheerleading squad that many of them are used to. After a couple practices the girls are comfortable and are like one big family.”