Early summer work pays huge dividends for EHS cheer team at Tennessee’s UCA camp

Published 10:03 am Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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A spirited jump start on a new season by the Elizabethton High School cheer team and mascots allowed the squad to walk away from last week’s UCA cheer camp at the University of Tennessee with tons of recognition for their hard work.
A total of 27 athletes made the trip down I-81 and I-40, where they learned new material and practiced for 10-plus hours each day. The squad competed in two categories – Camp Routine and Game-day, where all their hard work paid off.
“This summer we went ahead and had everything set up and ready to roll,” said EHS cheer coach Victoria Nanney. “We knew what we would be competing in in the camp routine and the game day so we took some of the cheers and chants that we already knew and set up all of our signs and sidelines so when we got there we just plugged in the material that they taught there at camp. We had a plan and they worked so hard on that plan.”
During the four-day camp that ran from Tuesday to Friday, the EHS squad learned the camp dance along with several cheers and sideline dance that they incorporated into a routine.
“So they also add stunts, jumps, and tumbling into that big routine and then they compete against other teams their size at camp,” said Nanney. “Those who earn All-American are invited to a UCA parade in either Hawaii or New York – it changes every year.”
Nanney added there were a total of 15 teams that the Cyclone cheerleaders went against with 14 of those teams hailing from Tennessee with one from Ohio.
Tuffy and Stormy who are the mascots for the Cyclones also benefited from the trip as the duo were able to work with a mascot coach as well as the well loved Tennessee mascot Smokey.
Nanney added the camp is beneficial for her teams to see what other teams do.
“It’s awesome for them to see what other teams do,” said Nanney. “It motivates them to want to do more and practice more. They were eager to learn.”
“Especially the freshmen as it’s their first year at the high school level,” said Vanessa Nanney who heads up the JV squad.
The 2023-2024 Cyclone varsity cheer team is composed of:
Rebekah Hardin
Madison Holly
Rheagan Haynes
Mallory Grindstaff
Kyleigh Elliott
Lindy Simerly
Paige Shelby
Hope Shelby
Xandi Crockett
Lainey Snodgrass
Grace Whaley
Bethany Wellnitz
Abbey Ferguson
Olivia Fields
Sophie Peterson
Sophia McKeehan
Shaylee Grindstaff
The varsity cheer squad ended the camp by capturing the following awards:
– gold ribbon for band chant evaluation
– blue ribbon for sideline/cheer evaluation
– blue ribbon for camp routine
– 1st place in camp routine competition
– 3rd place in the overall game day competition
Named varsity All-Americans from Elizabethton were Rebekah Hardin, Rheagan Haynes, Madison Holly, Lindy Simerly, Xandi Crockett, and Grace Whaley with Olivia Fields and Crockett receiving the “pin it forward” award.
Members of the junior varsity squad are: Reagan Price, Chyanne Everett, Will Buckles, Kinslee Carder, June Bailey, Madyline Everhardt, Reese Campbell, and Riley Harris.
The JV team earned the following awards:
– blue ribbon for band chant evaluation
– blue ribbon for sideline/ cheer evaluation
– blue ribbon for camp routine evaluation
– first place in sideline/ cheer
Will Buckles won the jump off and was named All American as well as receiving the “pin it forward” award.
The Elizabethton mascots also captured an array of awards.
Tuffy (Caiden Treadway) walked away from the camp with the following awards:
– three blue ribbons for field walk
– gold ribbon for being the dynamic Cyclones
– gold ribbon for jump off
– blue ribbon for jump off
– Game day/camp champion trophy
– gold ribbon
– named an All American
Stormy (Hannah Escano) also had a banner showing earning the following awards:
– Pin it forward
– Mushie
– three blue ribbons for field walk
– gold ribbon for being the dynamic Cyclones
– gold ribbon for jump off
– blue ribbon for jump off
– named an All American
“We are very proud of our athletes and all of their many accolades,” said Nanney. “We are also extremely proud that both teams and our mascots were complimented by several UCA staff for their hard work, great attitudes, enthusiasm, eagerness to learn, and flexibility.”
UCA camps are presented to help teams to prepare for game day which begins at a Varsity Spirit summer camp with a curriculum centered around being a Crowd Leader, Spirit Raiser, Ambassador, Athlete and Entertainer, all five of which are called upon on game day. Our camp curriculum teaches teams how to use spirit-raising tools like signs, poms and megaphones properly, what types of skills are effective in leading the crowd, and how to act before, during and after the game.
At camps, cheerleaders and dancers across the country learn new cheers, sidelines, band chants and skills to take back home to lead the crowd on game days and support the athletes on the field.
The team has returned to Elizabethton and is preparing to host their EHS Kids Camp Fundraiser as this summer, EHS Varsity and Jr. Varsity Cheerleaders will be offering a two-day camp which will be held Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22.
The camp runs from  8 am to 10 am for cheerleaders Pre-K to 3rd grade and 10 am to 12 pm. for cheerleaders 4th to 8th grade in John Treadway Gymnasium at Elizabethton High School.
Participants will learn and practice jumps, tumbling, cheers for football season, a cheer dance, and will play games with Tuffy and Stormy. The cost of camp is $50 and will cover both days of camp. Pre-registration ended on July 10, but campers are able to register in person on July 21. Those that did not pre-register will not receive a camp t-shirt.
All camp participants will be invited to wear their camp T-shirt and perform the material learned at camp at the first  EHS Varsity Football game of the season on September 15th, 2023. Details about the football game will be provided at camp.
 Registration for the first session will begin at  7:30 am (Pre-K-3rd) on July 21, while registration for the second session will begin at 9:45 am (4th-8th) on July 21.

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