Like many other sports, according to Cheer Coach Joana Trocan-Garret, the cheer team “really hasn’t been up too much” since the abrupt shut down of schools last March. Besides having online tryouts last June, the team hasn’t even been able to meet up for practices–until now.
After a year of not much activity, the Venice High cheer team will advance to city championships.
The team’s game plan is to use the same performance that they had for other competitions but to tweak it, according to junior Arely Ocampo Bartolo.
“So we’ll add a harder level,” Bartolo adds. “Like a stunt or an extension to the cheer.”
The team isn’t really worried about one school in particular, but Bartolo said “we were up against a lot of really good schools.” Trocan-Garret also noted that most of the “other schools practice in significantly better conditions” and that Venice’s cheer team plans to get more equipment when school returns. So it was the team’s true hard work and dedication that got them eighth place in regionals.
29 cheer teams, including Venice’s own, competed in CIF LA Cheer Regionals Saturday, May 22.
All teams participating had to practice, put together a competition routine, film it, then send it to the district. The district scores the cheer teams based on the video they submit. Then, the awards are given out—just like any other competition— except it’s virtual.
The 29 teams were divided into three separate divisions. Coach Joana Trocan-Garret said that the team also needed “to have been top three in their division or scored 75 points or higher” to be able to progress into city finals. Venice got 3rd in their division and had a score of 79, putting them in eighth based on overall regional scoring.
Prior to this, the team performed for the first time in over a year on April 30 at the football game against Hamilton.
“Basically, my varsity girls got cleared on the day of the performance,” said Trocan-Garrett.“They just performed. Like there was no practice, They literally just went on—I was so proud of them.”
It’s risky letting the team go out and perform without any real practice besides the routines they practiced and worked on last year.
Coach Trocan-Garret thought it was best to not allow any new members to participate because they didn’t have any real-time to practice.
“There was no time for that” Garret added, “It was just, Here you go. Here’s your uniform. Let’s make it happen.”
This spontaneity is what got the cheer team so far into the competition and it will probably be enough to keep them ranked high in the competition. Their coach is beyond proud of how far her team has come, regardless of ranking.