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Grizzlies off to the OC

Posted: Thursday, Mar 14th, 2013

The Pajaro Valley High cheerleading team practices a routine Monday at the high school. (Glenn Cravens/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Seeing that there were a lot of sophomores on the Pajaro Valley High cheerleading team, coach Matthew Davis was leaning toward not having his team compete in any competitions this school year.

He later changed his mind after seeing how the team worked with each other and opted to have the team compete in events, as it would give the student-athletes some experience for the future.

The future is apparently now.

The Grizzlies are scheduled to compete in the United Spirit Association’s High School Spirit Nationals this weekend in Anaheim.

It’s the first time Pajaro Valley will compete in the national championship cheerleading event. The preliminaries are Friday with the finals on Saturday night.

“I’m super excited,” Davis said. “It’s an awesome deal. This is my 10th year coaching and first year going.”

The Grizzlies got to this point by competing in the Great America Cheer Competition in Santa Clara. They earned third place and the final automatic bid to go to national championship.

Pajaro Valley had received an invitation to go to the national championship in the past, but it couldn’t accept it because the team was hit by injuries, players became academically ineligible or the team couldn’t raise enough funds to go.

This year, the team has survived those challenges and raised enough to make the six-hour trip south to Orange County.

The event will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center. The team will leave Friday morning and have about three hours to get ready for their performance. If the squad is in the top 35 percentile of scores, it will compete in the finals on Saturday night.

Davis said the team has been using the same routine for the whole season, with tweaks taking place because a player gets replaced or the judges at events offer suggestions on how to improve.

“You try to incorporate their feedback into your routine, so we added things that they (judges) wanted to see more of and took out things they wanted to see less of,” Davis said. “So it’s mostly the same, but there’s new elements in there.”

For the complete article see the 03-14-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-14-2013 paper.

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