Cheer team places sixth at districts

With pom poms in their hands and red and black sequined bows in their hair, the cheerleaders feel anxious to perform. But before going onto the mat, they gather in a circle, join hands and bow their heads. They pray. “God we’re not asking for much,” senior Pearl Obioha said, “but we’re asking you to help us out.” After the team prayer, the members exchange a few embraces and hear the team name being called.

It’s time for them to perform.

The cheer team participated in their last competition of the season, the district championship, on Thursday. It consisted of nine teams, in total, competing with only the top four teams moving on. Before the HHS cheer team performed , Assistant Coach Loren Nieves felt optimistic about their routine; “I feel like we definitely have a chance,” she said.

This competition was especially important for the seniors, since it would’ve been their last cheer competition of their high school career if they did not move on. Throughout the entire night, the senior cheerleaders hugged each other and reminisced about their experiences together. “Girls,” Obioha said, “It’s been an honor cheering with you.”

After their performance, the team sat up on the bleachers to wait for the other teams to finish their routines. After every team was done, the judges tallied up their scores and prepared to announce the winners. Four names were called, but Hillsborough was not one of them. Hillsborough is not moving on to the next round: the cheer team placed sixth.

Although they did not place, the cheer coaches maintained a positive attitude. “They did great considering we changed the routine this week,” Nieves said. “Of course we would have liked to be fifth, but I’m proud of them; next year will be much better.”