From the best in Alabama to best in the nation

Published 1:08 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. – For over four decades, the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship has been the climatic point of the cheer season for high school cheer squads across the nation. Several Shelby County teams proved to be some of the best teams in the country after competing in the championship.

Just months after competing against the top teams in the state of Alabama, Oak Mountain, Briarwood, Spain Park, Calera and Helena all competed against the top teams in the nation at the event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida Feb. 9-11, and all finished inside the top 10 of their respective competition.

The Calera Eagles were the highest finisher of any local team for their division. After finishing second overall in the state in December 2022, Calera competed in the Medium Varsity Division II Game Day at Nationals where they were judged on similar skills from the state championship such as Game Day situation, execution of stunts and tumbling relevant to the Game Day environment. 

Not only did the Eagles advance to the final round, they finished third overall with a total score of 95.6 and received zero deduction points.

Briarwood competed in the Medium Varsity Division II Non-Tumbling Game Day in which the Lions were judged on crowd-effective material, proper use of signs, poms or megaphones and motion technique. The Lions stepped up at the event after finishing in the top 20 at the state championship.

After the preliminaries and semifinals, the Lions advanced to the finals where they scored 90.8  to earn a rank of fifth in the country for the division. Briarwood also had no deduction from its raw score.

The Spain Park Jaguars finished just one spot lower in their competition, competing in one of the highest divisions.

Taking on some of the largest schools in the country, the Jags competed in the Super Varsity Division I Game Day.

Spain Park received a score of 94.9 in the competition to grab the top-six finish.

The Helena Huskies were just behind in their competition. After making school history by advancing to the finals at Nationals for the first time, the varsity squad went a step further with a top-10 finish.

After finishing 19th in the state competition back in December, the Huskies put together an impressive showing at Nationals by finishing the final day with a score of 94.2 to claim seventh in the Super Varsity Division I Non-Tumbling Game Day competition. 

The large division featured some of the top high schools in the country.

The Oak Mountain Eagles finished 10th overall in the Large Varsity Division I Non-Tumbling. Similar to Briarwood, the Eagles were judged on crowd-effective material, proper use of signs, poms or megaphones and motion technique as well.

Oak Mountain had previously finished in the top 15 in the state after their performance in the Alabama state championship in the Game Day event. The Eagles finished with a score of 90.9 on the final day of competition.