Turlock Youth Cheer is a key component to Saturday football games, raising the spirits of players and fans alike. But when the football season ends, their competitive season begins. This year, the Varsity TYC team finally brought home something they've been working towards for years — a National title.
Turlock Youth Competition Varsity Cheer competed all over California and won JAMZ Nationals 2016 in the Show Cheer division and placed third in the Performance Cheer division.
Lorrie Smith, advisor for Turlock Youth Cheer, said that the Varsity team had missed a National title by merely a tenth of a point for the past few years, so it was an emotional win.
“Needless to say the girls were crying when they heard they got the title,” she said. “Everyone was—including the parents. It was so exciting and such an emotional win; I’m very proud of them.”
Smith said she is proud of the hard work and dedication the girls have put in and it showed at JAMZ Nationals 2016 in Las Vegas.
“I’ve ran this program for 20 plus years and this is really an amazing group of kids,” she said.
The winning didn’t stop there, as the JV team picked up some medals as well, placing third in both Show Cheer and Performance Cheer.
“They did exceptionally well,” said Smith. “These little girls had never competed before and took home medals; not everyone medals, so it’s exciting stuff.”
The JV girls also competed at the Royal Valley Championship in Fresno months prior where they were the grand champions, scoring the highest in the entire competition.
“This was a first for our JV team to win a grand champion; it’s such a huge honor, especially for a little girls team,” said Smith. “They blew everyone’s mind, let me tell you.”
The Varsity team age range is from 10 to 13 years old and the JV girls are 8 to 10 year olds.
Smith said that the program is a great experience for the kids, where they are able to learn to have confidence, believe in themselves and be strong and independent.
“The program allows the kids to grow,” she said. “They learn to become leaders, to lead the younger girls... and eventually the entire program. They also learn about health and fitness and things of that nature.”
Signups for the next Turlock Youth Cheer teams are from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 12 in the Turlock High School parking lot. For more information contact Smith at 648-1958 or Betsy Roberts at 589-6523.