When the Home Depot Center in Carson became unsuitable to host the CIF State Cheer Championships due to rain over the weekend, Santa Monica High School’s coaches and administrators pulled their resources and hosted the event in their gym.
“We stepped up,” said Samohi Athletic Director Daniel Escalera. “They called us up, we got together real quick and made it happen.”
The Dec. 17 event, in fact, made history because it was the first time that the 100-plus year old Samohi ever held the championships on its campus, said Amy Medors, Samohi science teacher and cheer head coach. Hundreds of parents and administrators from high schools throughout California packed the gym to the top of the rafters, looking to mats below as California school after California school cheer squads displayed their team spirit. There were teams from Sacramento, San Diego and Orange County.
Although Samohi finished second in the “large varsity” category to Orange County’s El Dorado High School, the freshman team won first place and Samohi varsity non-tumble finished first, too.
“I’m not disappointed, I just think we could have done a little better and then we might have had a chance at first,” Medors said. “It was exciting to have it here because we never hosted a competition but it broke our routine on competition day because we had to host an event and compete, so it ‘s a little more stressful.”
Samohi’s cheerleading squad placed second in the national championships last year and is scheduled to return to that competition in the coming weeks, said team captain Mariah Sharp. The nationals take place in Orlando, Fla.