Attending camp at Northwestern State University, the Bastrop High cheerleaders received numerous awards.

Bastrop High School varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders recently attended the National Cheerleaders Association Camp at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, May 31 - June 3. The cheer teams participated in numerous competitions while at camp as well as cheer, chant, dance, stunt, jump, and leadership classes. Both the varsity and junior varsity teams received both team and individual awards this year. Bastrop High JV and varsity squads both received a bid to the National Cheerleading Championship Competition. To receive a bid, an overall evaluation of the team is conducted by staff based on skills, work habits, attitude, behavior, and potential to compete at state and/or national level.

On two different occasions while at camp the squads compete with various cheers, chants, and stunts they had been taught. The varsity squad received top honors with four blue (superior) ribbons for their evaluations. The junior varsity squad received top honors as well with three blue (superior) ribbons and one red (excellent) ribbon for their evaluations. Each night both squads were also honored by receiving a spirit stick; the spirit stick is an award given nightly for squads that show the most sincere spirit and enthusiasm during the day while working with the staff and other squads. The varsity squad was also honored the first night by receiving a very prestigious award; the Herkie Award; this award is named after cheerleading’s founder, Lawrence Herkimer, it is given to the squad that shows true team spirit, unity, and leadership. On the second night of camp NCA staff recognize cheerleaders with a “Pin it Forward” award; this award is given to those that exhibit the qualities cheerleading is really about: dedication, persistence, determination, and team work, to name a few. This year Bastrop junior varsity squad member Kiera Thomas received the honor. On the following evening those that were pinned by the staff were asked to pass their award on to a cheerleader from another squad that exhibits these same qualities. Shantavia Thaxton, a member of the varsity squad and Jakayla Caldwell captain of the junior varsity squad received the honors.

On the final day of camp teams participate in a final competition using cheers and chants they have learned during camp as well as an entrance they brought with them from home. For the final completion the team can incorporate stunts, tumbling, jumps, and showmanship. The competition is judged on overall technical and performance skills as well as their ability to get the crowd involved. This year the Junior Varsity squad received the trophy for “Game Day” Cheer. This is awarded to the JV team that exhibits the skills of getting the crowd motivated and involved while executing stunts and incorporating signs. The Varsity squad received many honors while at camp one being the trophy for Champion Chant; this award is based off the squad that exhibits skills of showmanship, crowd involvement, and the ability to work as a cohesive group. They also received the technical excellence award for superior stunting; this award is only given to one squad at camp; it is given to the squad that exhibits excellence in stunting; while using proper technique. The NCA Spirit Award; an award given to one squad that exhibits true team spirit was awarded to Bastrop varsity. Both squads were also presented with a spirit stick to take home for their team work and sincere spirit shown throughout the camp.

Several JV and varsity girls were nominated for All-American Cheerleader. Varsity squad: Destini Davis, Alaysia Dunn, Mikayla Morrison, Makayla Rayford, Laura Patrick, and Brittany Little. JV squad: Jakayla Caldwell, Kuristin Price, Jayln Marshall, Manasia Quinn, and Kiera Thomas. Cedric Winston “Sam the Ram” was nominated for All-American Mascot while also receiving award for The Most Improved Mascot Award. Ellsbeth McKoin, mascot manager was awarded the Most Creative Mascot Award for Props and Ideas. Also while at camp, Mrs. Brianne Allen, cheer coach for both squads, received official credentials for cheer coaching through NCA’s Coaching Program.