Snow cheer team wins nationals
By Lyle Fletcher
Mar. 1, 2018
ANAHEIM, CALIF.—It’s official. The Snow College co-ed cheerleading team won nationals.
The two-day competition called the 2018 United Spirit Association Collegiate Championships was held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., last weekend and Snow College won.
Yet the cheer squad almost didn’t make it to the competition.
After waiting for an airplane for six hours in Utah, the team learned their flight was canceled.
Then they scrambled to line up six vehicles for the drive to Anaheim, and the team arrived at 4 a.m. on the first day of the competition, Saturday, Feb. 24.
The first performance in the preliminary round was scheduled for 7:48 p.m. that night, and Snow College won that round, competing in the category called Small Co-Ed Show Cheer – Two-Year College.
A video of their performance was posted later that evening on the Facebook page of the Snow College Cheerleaders, and the message posted with the video reads: “SNOW CHEER is in 1st place after preliminaries!!! Sitting pretty for finals tomorrow!!!! WE GOT THIS!”
On Sunday, Feb. 25, some of the team members went to church earlier in the day, and then they performed at 2:48 p.m.
While waiting for the results later that day, the team’s head coach, Kaylie Bailey, and Trisha Bradley Hyde, assistant coach, took a video of the team members and commented on their journey.
They said other teams in their division love Snow’s team and said to them they deserve to win and even said they wanted Snow to win.
When Snow’s cheer team was competing, other teams from the division were cheering for them.
A few days before the competition, Snow Drift, the campus newspaper at Snow College, ran a story on the team, telling of the immense challenges this team has faced since November 2017 when they started practicing on the routine they performed in Anaheim.
It is the first team from Snow College to attend nationals,
As the Snow Drift reports, “The team has been through a lot this year, and it’s not easy with injuries. There have been nine concussions, broken ankles, torn ACL’s and other knee injuries, but the team continues to work.”
One Snow College cheerleader, Weston Sleight, mentioned the “long summer practices and camp, plus the week and a half before school started and seasonal practices.”
He added, “The whole team has been affected by injuries. Every week we have to switch multiple things around, but we got to do what we got with the people we have. We overcome the obstacles really well.”
One cheerleader, Jenna Taggart, had to be rushed to the hospital and then Life-flighted to Provo after falling straight on her back during a practice, the Snow Drift reported.
She seemed okay at first yet lost feeling in her right side, and the team was afraid they would not be able to compete in Anaheim because of this.
Brey Cantwell, another cheerleader, said of this dire situation, “It would have been devastating for us because we’ve been through so much and overcame so many obstacles and worked day and night to compete.”
Taggart regained feeling in her right side yet did not compete in Anaheim and will not be able to be part of the cheer team in the future because of her condition.
Hyde commented, “These kids have had so much fun, and this journey has been so worth it. Like, we could get like 100th place and I’d still be just as proud, I think.”
Bailey added, “I’d be proud no matter what. They’ve worked so hard.” She also mentioned all the injuries they’ve within the last three weeks.
Again pointing up the challenges the team has overcome, Hyde continued, “Like every arrow has pointed for us to not do it, and we are, like, coming out on top.”
After the announcement was made that Snow’s cheer team won nationals, the coaches’ excitement could not be contained, and Hyde said, “It’s been, like, the best journey.”
On Facebook, Hyde posted: “We won NATIONALS! I cannot be more proud of this team! It has been an amazing journey! These kids have worked so hard and put in so many hours! I love you so much, and you have made me a very proud coach!!”
Some of the team members have been coached by Bailey and Hyde since they were 10 years old, they said, and it was extremely gratifying for both of them to see these young cheerleaders grow and progress over so many years and then win nationals at the collegiate level.
This year’s cheer team had 19 members posted on the school’s website, with seven of them being male. In the photo showing them with their trophy, however, five members are male and 13 are female.
And for those who yearn to be part of the same kind of excitement in the future, the tryout for next year’s cheer team at Snow College will be on April 21 at 9 a.m. in the Blue Gym in the Horne Activity Center.
See http://www.snow.edu for more information on the tryout and on the two free clinics held on April 7 and April 20 also held in the Blue Gym.