Royals take first

by Kaitlyn Haas
Ramstein High School Cheerleading

***image1***Perfectly matching teams walk in and take their seats.  Just a few more bobby pins, a little more nervous hair spraying and everyone is set – not a ribbon out of place. Warm-ups for each division race by as hearts pound to last minute music checks. Now it is time.

The teams are announced and take the mat. They strut their stuff and show off what they have learned this season. Will it be enough?  Their two-and-a-half minute routine will determine their fate.

Before we hit the mat we said to each other, “It’s our time now, let’s show them what we’re made of!” As I spirited to my position on the mat, my blood rushed through my body as I heard the crowd shouting in our favor.

I vividly remember the music beginning – “Introducing the Ramstein Royals!” and I began counting the music in my head. After tumbling and jumps, we began stunting. I was smiling from ear to ear, momentarily unconscious of everything else, but our stunt group. 

When the cheer ended and our dance began, I told myself, “We’re more than half way there! We have this! We have this!” We threw two toe-touch baskets and reloaded into our end pyramid-hitch stunt; I felt so accomplished and proud of our team. Spiriting off the mat, we all felt one more rush of enthusiasm soar through us. We had done it; we stuck everything! 

All that we had practiced so hard for had finally come true when they announced, “And first place goes to … the Royals of Ramstein!” 

 I have participated in the European Cheerleading Competition with Ramstein High School for two years.  Our team knew we would face tough competitors, but we all had faith in each other and ourselves.  We knew we had what it took to win – the talent, the drive, the heart, the commitment and the will.

We had put in the work, the blood, the sweat and a few tears during our months of preparation as well. Our routine was the perfect compilation of cheer, dance and stunts. You learn that all teams feel the same emotions, regardless of placing or not.

It’s anxiety, nervousness, excitement, relief and accomplishment all rolled into one. Performing is one of the best rewards I could ask for; it makes me feel good when it brings a smile to someone’s face and happiness to their heart.