Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau Douglas High School cheer team coach Carlene Nore wrapped up how they performed at nationals, regions, and at state (where they're performing currently).
News of the North talked to the cheer team last month about their plan to go to nationals and now has followed up on the results.
Nationals were held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, starting on Feb. 22.
Coach Nore summarized how they entered nationals.
"This year, we made it one of our team goals to go to nationals, which required us to attend camp in the summer, and then also qualify in the fall. We had to qualify, our competition was virtually and that was in January," she said. "So we only had about six weeks, by the time season started to have a routine in all of the other divisions that we were entering, to qualify for nationals, and we did. So going to nationals was quite the experience for us. We only had eleven kids in our traditional routine. Then we had twelve for game day on the line."
Coach Nore shared that the kids grew from the experience. They were happy to live the experience of nationals they'd worked for in the past year, and getting second place was a huge plus. She walked News of the North through their routines.
"For game day, we had band chants and we had situational, and we had our timeout category. Then we had what was called a crowd leader category, which was all three of them back to back. Then the other one was a traditional cheer routine, which has the cheer in it, and then it's to music. So we had five categories all together," she said. "We were kind of overwhelmed going into the big arena at the Anaheim Convention Center. But it was such a great opportunity for the kids to watch other teams, and learn from them. We ended up placing second place in band chant, which we knew we were very close because we get our score sheet really close after performing. Few of them, we were only one and a half points away from making the finals. So we were right there at the cusp of going to finals. So great opportunity."
After nationals, JDHS Cheer had a week and a half before regions.
"Regions were kind of a blur. It was in Juneau, Thunder Mountain High School hosted. So it was nice that we didn't have to travel," she said. "The games were amazing. You have Ketchikan and Thunder Mountain, Juneau Douglas playing each other, you're going to have some amazing and fun games. Of course, being in Juneau you have the home crowd there supporting you. So that was really nice."
For both regions and state, it was JDHS's third time winning.
After JDHS Cheer won regions, they traveled to the State Cheer comp in Anchorage.
"Both of our girls' team and boys' team made it to state so we're up here cheering for them. We just finished the boys' game, not too long ago. We have the girls' game coming up later on this evening," Coach Nore said. "The cheer competition was great. Sandy Wagner stated this was one of the most teams in state in the last couple of years. So we had great competition. We had 11 teams in our division. We ended up coming out on top. So we were just beyond excited for that."
Coach Nore gave insight into what kind of feedback the cheerleaders took from nationals and implemented into the region and state competitions.
"Every time we get our score sheets, the judges are really good at writing down what you need to improve on and giving pointers on what to improve on and what you did well. So anytime you can have judges and get that kind of feedback, it's going to help you. So we took what we did there and applied it for regions and made changes to it," Coach Nore shared. "From there, the same thing, we got a lot of feedback from regions. So we did that and applied that for state and it paid off. We had some complications. On our routine, our music was super, super quiet, the kids could hardly hear it. There were times in there when we couldn't hear the music at all. So if you watch the routine, it's almost like a silent routine with no music, but the crowds got behind them. They never quit performing. They finished the routine. It was one of the best routines I've ever seen without music."
Coming out of state, Coach Nore said the pressure will be lifted and the team can focus on having fun.
"We've done what we wanted to accomplish as a team this season," she commented. "Now it's all about having fun supporting the basketball teams and making some really good memories."
The cheer season will end after the state tournament. However, JDHS Cheer will be performing at the JDHS Dance Team's Showtime.
Expect to see the JDHS Cheer Team's performance on Friday, Apr. 7. They'll be showing off their state routine.
Coach Nore also thanked Juneau for their ongoing support.
"So thankful for the support of the Juneau community because there's no way that we could have gotten to where we are and achieved our goals as a team; being able to travel down to California and travel up to state without the support of Juneau," she said. "We sold a heck of a lot of raffle tickets, spaghetti feeds, cheer clinics, just fundraising, fundraising, fundraising, to get where we're at. So big thank you to all of our supporters and the businesses that sponsored us. We couldn't be here without them. So thank you."
Below: Photos from the State Cheer Comp, photos courtesy of Mary Robidoux.
Below: JDHS Seniors at Cheer State Championships.
Below: Photos courtesy of Coach Nore.