Just before Christmas, the annual UIL football state championships broke the internet at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Piercing screams and cheers can still be heard ringing through Jerry World, the site of North Shore’s Hail Mary win over Duncanville.
That was so yesterday. Now, it is the cheerleaders' turn.
Next weekend, the Fort Worth Convention Center will be home to thousands of cheerleaders going after UIL state gold in the statewide spirit competition.
It could be equally as loud as 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium.
San Antonio Johnson has dominated the Class 6A competition since cheer became a UIL sport three years ago. While the “Alamo City” could now be tabbed “Cheer City,” several Houston-area teams will challenge the cheer power.
Oak Ridge, The Woodlands, Seven Lakes, Pearland, Cinco Ranch, Atascocita and Katy are just a few who have placed well at state since 2016. Friendswood finished second overall last year in the 6A Division II competition. The most consistent 6A Division I program has been Pearland, who has finished third, second and sixth, respectively.
“It’s definitely a commitment, but it’s worth it,” The Woodlands captain Hannah Williams said. “It’s competitive against the other teams, and inside our own team. There are three alternates on our team, so your spot is never guaranteed. You have to stay focused during all of our extra practices.”
The Highlanders have finished third and 10th in their two seasons of competition. This could be one of their better shots to win gold.
“We are going there to win,” Highlander Kathryn Falterman, also a VYPE-U Ambassador, said. “We have been close in the past, and hope our hard work pays off this year.”
The pair walked VYPE through what the state weekend is like.
-- Bus ride to Fort Worth – The traditional pit stop at Buc-ees
-- Extra practices in the hotel ball room as a refresher
-- Hang out in hotel rooms: Netflix, Snapchat, talks
--Team dinner at Cheesecake Factory
-- Moms provide “Pixy Stix” for energy
--Backstage prayers and chant to get hyped… Slam “Pixy Stix”
Stay tuned as VYPE follows the action next weekend from Fort Worth and the state’s top cheer team is crowned.