Luverne cheer squads shine at UCA Camp

Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2024

By Staff Reports

The Luverne High School (LHS) varsity and junior varsity (JV) cheerleading squads excelled at the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) cheer camp held the week of June 17 at in Foley, earning numerous accolades, including the prestigious Leadership Award. The honor, voted on by all the squads at the camp, reflects the respect and admiration cheerleaders earned from their peers.

“I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of them,” said Mandy Wills Horn, LHS cheer coach who works alongside coach Petrina Sankey. “Each squad is asked if they could be a part of any other squad, which squad would they want to be part of. This is an award that means more than winning first place in everything because it showcases what others see of our program. It really is great to be a Luverne Tiger!”

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The Varsity cheerleaders received gold superior ribbons for their daily evaluations in both the sideline chant/cheer and camp dance categories. The JV team was awarded blue superior ribbons for their performance in the same categories. Additionally, the entire Luverne cheerleading program won the coveted “banana” award on the third night of camp and took home two spirit sticks.

Two Luverne cheerleaders, Brooke Horn and Jamie Morgan, were honored with the prestigious Pin It Forward Award presented by UCA staff. The award is given to cheerleaders who exhibit values such as leadership, kindness, teamwork, spirit, commitment and motivation. In turn, Horn and Morgan had the opportunity to each pin another girl from other squad on the final day. Luverne’s Henlie Hammonds and Alyssa Dillard also received pins from other squads on the final day of camp.

A total of 12 Luverne cheerleaders earned spots on the UCA All-America team. The varsity All-Americans include Brooke Horn, Olivia Cornett, Tatum Ballard, Carlie Ann Hammonds, Annslee Tate, Tyra Lynn Jones, Finley Marchand and Kaylee Frazier. The JV All-Americans are Henlie Hammonds, Jamie Morgan and Abbie Beasley. Additionally, Caileigh Hale, performing as the mascot “Louie,” was named an All-American mascot.

Hale, a rising senior, found the camp experience particularly impactful. 

“This season will be my second year as ‘Louie’ the Luverne Tiger,” Hale said. “However, this was my first cheer camp. The experience was amazing! I’ve played team sports before, but this is the first team that I felt at home with. My cheer squad encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone, and enter the tryouts for the All American Mascot. We worked together on my routine, and performed it in front of all the cheer squads that were there. Then, to my surprise, I won. Winning this award made me realize that to achieve great things, you have to get out of your comfort zone and try.”

The final day of competitions saw the Varsity squad secure first place in cheer, second in sideline chant, second in dance and second overall. The JV team earned third place in both dance and cheer and clinched first place in sideline chant.