DCHS Cheer Squad grows at Troy University Cheer Camp

Published 7:20 am Monday, July 17, 2023

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Dallas County High School’s cheerleading squad took a big step in growth this week as they took part in the Universal Cheerleader Association cheer camp that was hosted at Troy University. Over the three days of the camp Dallas County Head Cheer Coach Stacy Buchanan said there was a lot of work put in.

“There was a lot of tears, sweat, body aches, bruising, a lot of ‘oh this hurts’ but we learned how to do stunts, cheers, we learned how to work together as a team and build on our skills,” Buchanan said.

While at the camp there were awards given out each night. One of the awards was the spirit stick which was given to the group who worked together the whole time while the groups are split up into what is called a private co-team. Each night the team that showed the most spirit got the spirit stick. Dallas County got the Spirit Stick on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night. On Wednesday they also got an extra award.

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“They also gave out what they called the banana,” Buchanan said. “That’s when they all come together and the entire camp comes together and they got to show the most spirit. They were jumping up and down. It’s like who wants the banana? Whoever gets it gets to carry it around the next day.”

Buchanan has nine cheerleaders total on her squad and only two of them have cheered before. One of the cheerleaders is a young man by the name of Mario Roper. Roper is the first male cheerleader in Dallas High School History and he received a special award during the camp as well.

“UCA gives out a pin for Leadership, Spirit, Commitment, Kindness and Motivation,” Buchanan said. “Mario Roper got that pin. Then he had to pin it forward to another cheerleader. He got to keep his pin. It read ‘you’re the reason why we need more cheerleaders.”

On Thursday the squad competed against the other squads that were at the camp. Dallas County placed fourth in the game day routine. Buchanan said that she is proud of her team and the growth that they have shown in such a short time.

“I’m overwhelmed and proud of each and every one of them,” Buchanan said. “It made me feel really good. It shows me that this squad can work together as a team. They can do things as a team and they can get it done.”

The 2023 Dallas County Cheer Squad is as follows: Iyana Brown, Ebony Carter, A’Layjah Fincher, Camaya Moore, Jamyia Peeples, Caden Reese, Mario Roper, Akerria Smith, Li’Donna Woods