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Cheer team competes at nationals in two categories

In February, the school’s cheer team traveled to California to compete in and go on to win the annual national competition.

“This is the second time we’ve been to nationals,” said Annika Hulet, senior and cheer captain. 

Two divisions of the cheer team competed, the varsity team and the game day team. 

“Last year we got 15th place and this year we competed in a new division,” Hulet said. “This is the first time Ballard competed in the crowd leader division.” 

The cheer team took 18th place in the traditional category, and they earned a first-place win in the game day category. 

“Game day is more about what you would see on the sidelines of a football game,” Hannah Mattila, junior cheer captain, said. 

Mattila also said that the traditional cheer category is performed with music. 

“To qualify for nationals, we had to send in a video,” Hulet said. “We also competed in Washington state four or five times before that.” 

Only about two thirds of the team got to go to nationals. 

“We traveled to California as a group of 18 of us,” Mattila said. “The JV team didn’t go.” 

Mattila and Hulet both agreed that the cheer team is a great community for them, and that this trip to California helped strengthen that community. 

“I’m really happy that I decided to join the team,” Hulet said. “I’m really close with all the girls on the team.” 

Unlike the typical sports season, cheer is year-round, and is therefore  much easier for her to get to know people on the team.  

“My favorite part about cheer is the community it builds,” Mattila said.  

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