El Campo High Varsity Cheerleaders participated in the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) sponsored cheer camp at the University of Texas in Austin July 21-24.

UCA camp focuses on crowd leading, skills training, leadership and team bonding in which the local squad took part in and bringing home several awards.

“We have an amazingly talented group of cheerleaders. I am so proud of each one of them and can’t wait to watch them shine this year,” ECHS cheer coach Shanna Evans said.

For overall awards during the game day championship, the ECHS squad won second in cheer and third in rally routine. Senior Breanna Berry (aka “Ricky Ricebird”) won the mascot tradition award.

Also, seniors Brianna Dorotik and Skylar Bartosh and junior Megan Foegelle earned the title of All-American Cheerleader and Berry earned the mascot All-American title.

“I really enjoyed the experience that we had and all the new things we got to learn. It was definitely a great last camp as a camper,” senior Breanna Berry, “Ricky Ricebird,” said.

On the first day of camp, the girls checked into their dorm rooms. Camp was held in “The Bubble,” the indoor UT football practice field. Each day began with demonstrations from the UCA staff showing the ultimate routines the girls would learn during camp. Girls began their squad credentialing program where they learned the roles of a cheerleader, including crowd leaders, spirit raisers, ambassadors, athletes and entertainers.

Also, on day one, they learned about safety and leadership, practiced camp routines, a dance rally routine, attended a cheer class and participated in a pyramid and stunting class.

The second day was a more intense day of learning and building on skills from day one. They performed a band chant, had cheer practice, performed more advanced stunts and pyramids and participated in a jump class.

The squad had their first evaluation, a cheer routine where they received a superior rating. They also had a jump-off contest in which three from each squad competed. Participating from El Campo was senior Julia Foegelle, junior Megan Foegelle and freshman Aubrey Samaripa. Each girl competed by showing their best jump. Megan Foegelle won the overall jump off competition.

On the third day, the group perfected all they had learned, including their game day routine that consisted of a band chant, sideline chant and cheer. They also worked on their rally routine.

The squad was also treated to a UCA pep rally where the girls got to participate in fun competitive games such as a handstand contest, strong man contest and a balancing race. The theme was “Circus In the Stands.”

That evening, the girls performed their rally routine on the University of Texas football field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in front of family and friends. For their performance, the squad received another superior rating.

“They did an amazing job learning quickly under pressure, working together, and bonding with each other,” Evans said.

Afterwards All-American tryouts were held. Trying out from El Campo were seniors Skylar Bartosh, Brianna Dorotik and Delilah Valenzuela; juniors Makenzie Cortez, Julia Foegelle and Megan Foegelle. Each girl performed their best jump, a cheer and the rally routine.

Skylar Bartosh, Brianna Dorotik and Megan Foegelle, who earned All-American Cheerleader will have the opportunity to cheer in the New Year’s parade in London.

The mascot All-American tryouts included each mascot who performed their own choreographed skit. Berry, as Ricky Ricebird, earned the All-American mascot title and will have the opportunity to perform at the Citrus Bowl in Florida.

Madisyn Cortez was awarded the “Pin It Forward” award. This award recognizes and praises cheerleaders who have stood out for various reasons that promote the values encouraged through cheer such as leadership, spirit, commitment, kindness and motivation. The uniqueness of this award is that on the last day each recipient “Pins it Forward” by awarding another cheerleader that stood out to them this same award.

Day four of camp, game day championships was held. The ECHS group completed the squad credentialing program and competed in the game day competition that included a band chant, sideline chant and cheer in front of their parents and friends.

The rally routine championship was held, followed by the mascot follies where special performances from each mascot were held.

Each evening, camp concluded with the awarding of the spirit stick.

There was also a tribute to all the seniors at camp. Four senior cheerleaders received application cards to try out for UCA staff after graduation. From El Campo, they are Skylar Bartosh, Breanna Berry, Brianna Dorotik and Delilah Valenzuela. They were nominated based on talent, charisma, and leadership potential that stood out at camp.

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