On January 11th the Reiver Cheerleading team took off from the Omaha airport and headed to Orlando to attend the college nationals. The trip was packed with tons of practice times, team bonding, and of course the performances. On Friday January 12th the team practiced at the University of Central Florida with a couple of other teams that were also performing at the college nationals. While at UCF we practiced, cheered on other teams while they performed, and then took the mat to perform our routine for everyone there. Later that evening the team got together for dinner at one of our fellow teammates houses. It was definitely a night filled with team bonding, joking around with each other, and being thankful that we all were able to eat a home cooked meal together.
Friday flew by and it was time for Reiver Cheer to get down to business. This was the first year that teams in the Open Coed Division would be preforming twice in one day. Once in semifinals and then each team would need to qualify to perform the second time in finals. The team started off strong with a good warm up at the Disney All-Star Sports Resort before heading to the ESPN Wide World of Sports to show off our routine in semifinals and earn our spot in finals. The Reivers where focused and everyone was determined to start off the day with a hit and a score of 90.8 , and that is exactly what the Reiver Cheerleading team did. Coming out of semifinals there were a couple of minor changes to the routine to ensure that the team could score as high as possible in finals.
Entering finals everyone could tell that we were confident in ourselves and we were ready to improve upon our semifinal's performance. It was our time to achieve the goal we set for ourselves this season, hit two routines and give everything we have out on that mat. We had an amazingly easy warmup which only added to everyone’s confidence. After waiting back stage for what felt like forever, the team in front of us took the floor, as their second half music came on we circled up and began our final team breakout. Everyone jumped up and down with high energy yelling “I’m a REIVER .... I'm a REIVER” with pride, excitement, and the readiness to go out and perform for the second time of the day. As soon as we started to take the mat, we all knew everyone was rooting for us. The viewing area was packed with people ready to cheer us on as we hit one skill after the next. As a team we came off the mat more proud than ever, knowing that we left all we had out on those mats and finished the season by achieving our team goal.
At this point it was up to the judges. Although the 2018 Reiver Cheerleaders placed second at college nationals to our rivals out of Alabama, the placement really didn’t matter us. What mattered was that we were all proud of our performance and we have made memories that will last a lifetime. It is amazing to be able and say that this team made history by having the highest score in program history. With a score of 92 not only did we set a new personal best, we scored higher than some of the teams that placed first in other divisions at college nationals.
Overall college nationals was a success for the Reiver Cheer Team. We are thankful for the opportunity to represent our college and take pride in competing to our personal bests. We now return to campus to support our basketball teams and continue to show our pride and support for Reiver Athletics.