James Clemens Cheerleaders Grab Top Spots At National Championships
ORLANDO, FLA.- A year’s worth of hard work came down to just three minutes for the James Clemens competition cheer squad at the Universal Cheerleaders Association National Championships held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.
Utilizing what James Clemens head coach Hannah Stockman called, “a difficulty that sets us apart from all the others,” the Lady Jets won the Small Varsity Division I National Championship with their three-minute performance of perfection. Competing in the division comprised of 114 squads from across the country, the team with nine seniors on board overcame a season of adversities, including numerous girls who took the top girl position due to injuries and changes within the squad lineup, and made their goal of doing their best. “They worked hard to move through the difficulties they had to face and having the nine seniors was a huge help for us,” added Stockman in her fourth season as head coach at James Clemens.
The clean-cut and up-standing group of girls from James Clemens also won the Small World School and Game Day Non-Building National titles in Orlando. In addition, the Junior Varsity squad finished eighth in the national competition.
“This squad certainly out-worked everyone and it showed,” said Stockman. “This squad worked out for the competition more than any other squad I’ve had. They believe in discipline and goal setting.”
Heading into the nationals the confidence was there for the squads, but a sour taste remained from the recent Alabama State Championships where James Clemens did not win the State Championship in the Game Day division. The squad admitted it just didn’t perform well and would be happy to finish among the top five at the nationals knowing how competitive the division is from top to bottom. “We would have been very happy with a top three finish and our winning was the biggest surprise,” said Stockman.
In the Division I contest, which the organizers claimed was the most competitive division they had ever witnessed, James Clemens made the necessary adjustments to make their routine work. The girls rallied around one another and, according to Stockman, pulled it off to near perfection.
Stockman added, “The difficulty of our routine set us apart from the others as we were the only ones to have the skills to do so. Our girls did what we asked them to do. We did our best and it showed.”
The following girls made up the cheer squad roster for the 2022-2023 Lady Jets: Seniors- Kenze Achenbach, Whitney Bailey, Paris Dryer, Alexis Ivy, Perri McMahan, Kiersten Ratcliff, Gabbie Russell, Katie Russell, Ella Thomas; Juniors- Katy Bennefield, De’Nazia Griffin, Julia Ingalls, Sydney Snodgrass, Malikah Stowe, Kaylee Tucker; Sophomores- Hannah Bruce, Maddie Hayden, Emma Jones, Amelia Koerlin, Kaitlyn Stone, Haley Swafford, Bella Tejeda, Parker Wrobel; Freshmen- Gabby Dickerson, Cate Downs, Zoe Godine, Lauren Johnson, Camryn Lomack, Sophia Smith, Peighton Stevenson, Dion Thomas.
The National High School Cheerleading Championship, produced by the Universal Cheerleaders Association, is the pinnacle of cheerleading for high school squads. Just to make it to the event is a great accomplishment, but to compete well is even more impressive. To be a multiple winner is one of the greatest achievements one school can make.