DOVER, Fla. — The Strawberry Crest High School co-ed cheer team is celebrating after winning its eighth straight FHSAA state title. But they can’t celebrate for too long because now they’re preparing for the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship.
“I just had my third state title,” junior Kira McClard told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “It’s kind of mind-boggling to think about.”
These Chargers have owned the mat and the air for the last eight seasons and have the rings to prove it.
“When I look back and think that I am part of this long legacy and I’ve worked hard to keep it going, it’s a good feeling for me,” McClard added.
The 22-member team will have two minutes and 30 seconds to wow the judges at nationals with a routine that includes stunting, jumping, dancing, and cheering.
“It’s packed with skills,” junior Savannah Jenkins said. “From the beginning, you have to be completely focused and in the zone.”
This team is about way more the shaking pom-poms. The training is detailed, intense, and expects big results.
“It’s not sideline football, and games,” junior Sarah Fabel said. “Everybody thinks it is, but it’s definitely not.”
The team made history in 2020 as the first from Hillsborough County to win a national title. Tenth-year Strawberry Crest head coach Loveny Savarino will make sure her team is ready to do it again.
“We practice five days a week, sometimes six,” Jenkins said. “(Coach Savarino) is hardcore. We’ll go over time if we have, too. We’ll do conditioning if we have to. It’s hardcore.”
The UCA Nationals take place Feb. 11-13 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Disney.