Valley Spirit Shines
WESLACO – The UIL Spirit Competition has only been around for a few years. It’s the UIL’s way of honoring high school cheer teams that work hard throughout the year. At this year’s contest, Sharyland Pioneer and McAllen Memorial were both crowned state champs.
The brand of cheerleading these girls perform is very specific.
“School spirit is entirely different,” said Pioneer spirit coach Marissa Briseno. “Your job is to promote the job and the student body. To have that inner wow.”
The routines performed at state are similar to what you would see at a football game. Pioneer won the 5A-DII title.
“It was an amazing feeling,” said Pioneer senior Danielle Escobedo. “The lights just blind you and it makes you feel so much cooler being there and getting a standing ovation. I worked so hard for it.”
The title is Pioneer’s first-ever team state title in any sport.
“Being a cheerleader already, it’s hard to get recognition for a lot of things,” said Pioneer senior Madison Goodrich. “To be able to say that we won a state championship, it brings a little more recognition to our team and that things we do for our school.”
The team at McAllen Memorial also won its first ever spirit state title. The Mustangs were the top squad in 6A-DII.
“Once we heard our name being called, we freaked out,” said McAllen Memorial senior Stephanie De La Garza. “They couldn’t us is in a line to say we were the winners. We were just going crazy.”
Memorial entered the final phase of the competition in 13th place. They used that as motivation to wow the judges in the end.
“All we wanted to do is hit a perfect routine for ourselves and our coaches,” said McAllen Memorial senior Vivian Morgan. “We came off the mats hugging each other.”
Pioneer and Memorial practiced with each other before heading to the competition in Fort Worth. Little did they know, they would both come back home as state champions.