Sequoyah cheerleaders score big at summer cheer camp

Bottom row from left to right: Shyla Burgess, Robbin Collins, Hailey Weaver, and Symone Ross. Top row from left to right: Marisa Hambleton, Shelby Blossom, Coach Bonnie Griffin, Sherniec Scraper, and Nicole Laconsello.

Bottom row from left to right: Shyla Burgess, Robbin Collins, Hailey Weaver, and Symone Ross. Top row from left to right: Marisa Hambleton, Shelby Blossom, Coach Bonnie Griffin, Sherniec Scraper, and Nicole Laconsello.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla.-The 2008-2009 Sequoyah Schools' cheerleading squad proved this summer that big things do indeed come in small packages. The group of eight girls returned from their annual summer training camp with the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) in Springfield, Miss., with a handful of trophies, ribbons and awards.

"Although the squad was among the smallest in attendance, their accomplishments were astonishing," said Bonnie Griffin, Sequoyah cheer coach.

All eight members of the squad were selected as All-American nominees, qualifying them to tryout for the NCA All-American team.

"To my knowledge, there has never before been an entire team awarded for their individual talents," Griffin said.

Cheerleaders may be nominated for All-American for by demonstrating outstanding ability in jumps, stunts, tumbling, motion technique or leadership. Four Sequoyah Schools' cheerleaders went through the rigorous tryout process and two were named NCA All-Americans. They are senior Sherniec Scraper and sophomore Shelby Blossom.

As a team, the squad brought home two Technical Excellence awards for their nightly evaluations. They won the TEAM Award Certificate twice and also received the SPOT Award, given to teams for displaying excellent technique in safety, spotting and stunt technique. This award is given by NCA to commend the team for their outstanding commitment to safety and safely performing stunts and routines.

On the final day of camp the squads competed in final evaluations and competitions. The Sequoyah cheerleaders won the Game Day Top Team Award.

"The Top Team Award is one of the biggest trophies that they handed out," Griffin said.

By earning "The Top Team Award," the entire team qualified to participate in one of two special events sponsored by NCA. They can choose to travel to Miami, Fla. to perform in the pre-game festivities of the Orange Bowl or travel to Oahu, Hawaii, during Thanksgiving break to give a half-time performance at a University of Hawaii football game.

They also won the Spirit Award, voted on by all squads at camp, for the one team that added the most spirit to the camp all week.

The team ended the week with team member Sherniec Scraper earning the Individual Leadership Plaque for an outstanding display of excellence in leadership throughout the week at camp.

Sequoyah Schools' cheerleaders for 2008-2009 are seniors Sherniec Scraper and Nicole Laconsello, junior Symone Ross, sophomores Shelby Blossom, Marisa Hambleton and Hailey Weaver, and freshmen Shyla Burgess and Robbin Collins.

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