June 15, 2016 Edition

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Walnut Ridge School junior and senior high cheerleaders attending NCA Summer Cheerleading Camp were (front row, from left): Mollie Blackshear, Belle Soden, Morgan Smith, Hannah Anglin, Anna Claire Maple, Destiny Ervin, Maggie Gibson; (back row): Makayla Durham, Emily Highfield, Mady McGinnis, Maci Smelser, Taylor McGinty, Hannah Ponder, Lilly Maple and Holly Berry. Down front is Efrain Baldiris, NCA Buddy Instructor.

WR cheerleaders receive bid
to national championship

Cheerleaders from the Walnut Ridge Senior and Junior High squads attended an NCA Summer Cheerleading Camp at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs, June 7-10, They were among over 500 cheerleaders attending from Arkansas and surrounding states.

The National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) is a division of the National Spirit Group (NSG). The National Spirit Group, founded in 1948 by L.R. Herkimer, hosts camps, championships and events for over 180,000 cheerleaders each year.

As part of the four-day camp curriculum, the National Cheerleaders Association selects award winners at each of the over 1,200 camps it administers around the world each summer. There are awards given for individual as well as team accomplishments.

The members of the Walnut Ridge senior high and junior high squads joined together as one cheer team this year and received several camp awards, such as the Herkie Team Award, which is presented to one team for displaying excellent leadership, values, teamwork and sportsmanship and is voted on by the other squads at camp.

The main competition is called "The Jam," and the Walnut Ridge cheerleaders received two blue ribbons for that performance. In addition, the squad won the "Most Improved" Award. They also received four spirit sticks for exceptional school spirit and received a bid to cheer at the High School National Championship.

NCA also recognized several cheerleaders as All-American Nominees. These are outstanding individuals who display strength in cheer motions and technique, leadership ability and/or overall attitude at camp. These individuals are eligible to perform at various NCA special events, such as marching in the Christmas parade at Disney World this December. Chosen as All-American Nominees for senior high are: captain and senior, Morgan Smith, co-captain and senior, Emily Highfield; junior, Makayla Durham; junior high captain and freshman, Maci Smelser; junior high captain and freshman, Mady McGinnis; eighth-grader, Mollie Blackshear; eighth-grader, Anna Claire Maple; and seventh-grader, Maggie Gibson.

The senior high squad is coached by Mary Smith and Courtney Weathers, and the junior high squad is coached by Natalie Wallin, who completed the NCA Coaches Credentialing Program while at camp.

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