February 10, 2023
LANCASTER, Texas -- Looking to the sidelines at any Lancaster High School athletics competition, you'll see the varsity cheerleaders supporting the team and energizing the crowd. You can expect to see the cheerleaders performing stunts, flips, and leading a yell as they cheer on the Tigers. You can also expect to see some of the squad members leading on the national level.
Last summer, the team went to the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Cheer Camp and put Lancaster High School on the map. The group raked in awards and accomplishments, and nine cheerleaders were awarded All-American medals. Additionally, four team members were asked to try out for this year's NCA staff.
The hard work throughout the summer has paid off, and now two LHS cheerleaders will serve as NCA staff members for the first time in Lancaster ISD history. Senior team captains Cedoria Wilson and Jaye Kennedy received the news they had been selected in early February.
"It's truly an honor to be chosen as an NCA staff member," said Kennedy. "I couldn't believe the news when they told me. I would never have seen myself in this position a few years ago. I used to be in the band and never knew I would be a cheerleader. So I'm very excited to be somewhat of a "cheer-lebrity" in the cheerleading world."
According to the National Cheerleaders Association, the staff is hand-selected based on their leadership skills, industry knowledge, and because they love what they do. For Wilson, it's a dream come true.
"This is an amazing accomplishment for me," said Wilson. "I've always wanted to be an NCA staff member. I watched them growing up, and I would tell myself, 'I want to do what they do and add more diversity to the staff.'"
LHS varsity coach Roshanda Bonner says seeing the two captains join the national organization as part of the staff is rewarding.
"I am immensely proud of both of them," said Bonner. "It's a huge deal to be chosen. They've worked so hard over the years, and to see all of their commitment and dedication lead to this opportunity is wonderful. The cheerleaders are the face of Lancaster ISD, and this achievement adds to the winning legacy the district is known for."
Bonner says it's great to see Kennedy and Wilson switch roles and become teachers for future LHS cheerleaders during cheer camp.
Wilson says her experience as an NCA staff member will be helpful as she transitions to college and, later, a professional career.
"I want to be a teacher after I graduate college, so being a leader and staff member during the summer cheer camp will help me learn how to instruct and mentor rather than just telling someone how to do something."
For those aspiring to become a varsity cheerleader or even an NCA staff member, Kennedy says it's important never to give up and to continue working toward your goals.
"My advice is always to imagine yourself doing what you say that you want to do because it will help you bring that dream to life."
Bonner echoed similar sentiments.
"Go for it if that's what you want. Go where your heart leads you because it will get you there. I'll give you the skills and techniques and whatever else you need, but your heart, drive, and dedication will bring you all the way.
Kennedy and Wilson will report to training for the NCA camp during the summer. But, for now, they'll continue to lead the cheerleading squad for the remainder of the school year. Currently, the cheer team is hosting a cheer camp at LHS for students in all grades wanting to learn skills and techniques.
For anyone interested in trying out for the 2023-2024 cheerleading squad, there is a mandatory parent meeting on Monday, February 13, at 6 p.m. Tryouts will be held February 21-24. Please email Roshanda Bonner at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.