DODGE CITY — This weekend, the Dodge City Community College Cheerleaders participated in a two-day National Cheer Association cheerleading camp. Their hard work and determination paid off as at the end of the camp, they were handed a bid (invitation) to the National Cheer Championships in Daytona, Fla., April 11-14, 2012. The cheer and yell leaders used their own funds to bring the camp to Dodge City.
The NCA competition is an elite competition. More than 1,000 teams will attempt to earn bids, but the competition will only offer about 60 invitations to college teams.
Head coach Valerie Cunningham said, "I am extremely proud of them, I have a very dedicated squad, and this bid is just confirmation of their hard work."
This is only Valerie's second year as head coach of the Conq cheer squad, and the program has really flourished. This is the first time in Dodge City Community College history that the cheerleaders have been to nationals. This year, Cunningham also has the help of assistant coach Angel Navaro.
“Our squad will compete against D1 and D2 schools,” said Navaro. “I am excited for the squad to be seen by recruiters from major colleges. The day after the competition is something they refer to as 'stunt fest,' and the cheer and yell leaders can use this to showcase their talents for the recruiters and get their name out there.”
Squad member Caitlin Nelson said she was excited to go to nationals.
“I am excited about the competing and showing off our squad's skills,” she said.
Tyler Royle, yell leader, said, “I am looking forward to being around all the other talented squads. They are inspiring and drive you even further.”
Being college students who will head to Daytona during spring time, Royle added, “I am also excited because it's Daytona!”
This same sentiment was echoed by other team members.
The DC3 cheer squad consists of 10 women and five men. They practice four to six days a week and anywhere from one to four hours a day. They will be given some help financially by the college, but the majority will have to be raised.
Soon the DC3 cheer and dance squad will be releasing a calendar to begin working on its fundraising goals. If you would like to purchase a calendar, please contact Cunningham at (620) 561-6901.