Chico Cheer All Stars Win National Championship

Apr 29, 2014 9:02 PM

You could say that the Chico Cheer All Stars are no stranger to winning. The group recently returned from Orlando and Anaheim where all of its teams placed in the top three in their respective age divisions. For the senior team that competed in Orlando, this was the third year in a row that they returned home national champions. Monique McDaniel has been a co-captain of the senior team since last year.

"It's like cheer world. There are cheerleaders everywhere. It's pretty crazy and intense," she says.

The squad of 17 was not only up against teams from all over the U.S., but they also had competition from other countries like Canada and Costa Rica. So needless to say, the kids were under a lot of pressure after winning back to back years. The gym’s director, Tiffany Hayes, says the teams were nearly flawless in their routines.

"For two and a half minutes there were no mistakes, and they did it 2 days in a row," she says.

Meanwhile, the gym's mini team also won its showcase in Anaheim. The group ranges in age from 5 to 8 years old, but don't let their size fool you, they are not afraid of the spotlight. The kids pour their hearts into the mat and spend nearly the entire year preparing for these national events.

"I just always want the kids to know that hard work pays off. That's the biggest lesson I want them to take home," says Hayes.

Mini Cheer Team coach Katlin Redding says one of the biggest challenges is incorporating new members and dealing with a wide range of skill levels.

"We have people that have never cheered before and you have to train them to know how to cheer. We have kids that have cheered for a few years and you try to combine them all together," she says.

Despite the obstacles along the way, the kids leave it all on the floor and have just a few minutes to impress the judges. Then it's all over in the blink of an eye.

"You're crying, you're happy, you're screaming. I always run for the trophy and grab it, jump up and down," says McDaniel.

"All of the hard work pays off and all of them emotions you can think of come out at once," says senior team co-captain Chance Albee.

This is Chico Cheer’s 9th season competing as a gym, and its 4th year winning a national championship at the UCA All Star Competition.


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