Pop culture hasn’t exactly been kind to the cheerleader, who’s been exaggeratedly portrayed as a shallow shell of a stereotype. Unless you’re watching a Bring It On movie or Heroes, you’re not exactly clamoring to side with her.
In real life, though, there’s so much more going on beyond face paint in the school’s colors and jock boyfriends. As if to prove it, this year, the girls of Saint Pedro Poveda College’s Junior Hardcourt cheerleading squad have brought home back-to-back titles at two highly-regarded competitions: the Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA), held on Feb. 25, and the National Cheering Championship (NCC), held on March 11.
The team bags is fourth straight title at the WNCAA Midget Division, and they’re undefeated three-peat champions at the NCC All Girls Junior Cheer Division. The members, all 9- to 13-year-olds, had to deal with grueling schedules as the competitions were only two weeks apart, and smack-dab in the middle of exams, at that. But they trained hard, and trained well — it obviously paid off.
Besides the training, to what do they owe their wins? According to head coach Ivy Tabares, it’s the team’s high-energy spirit and a tight routine that shows off their skills. Every performance is not without little hitches, but when the Junior Hardcourt girls work together with focus and determination, there’s nothing they can’t do. Rah-rah to that.