Trinity cheer wins big at camp under new coach

Published 12:01 am Sunday, June 22, 2014

NATCHEZ — First year Trinity Episcopal Day School cheerleading coach Rebecca Blair gotoff to a promising start with her cheer team in just a short amount of time.

The Trinity cheer team came back from a UCA camp at Mississippi College June 12 as the Game Day champions.

Blair had just moved to Natchez from Florida earlier this year, and was hired as the head cheer coach in March.

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By time she settled in, she had to wait for final exams to end before gathering up her cheer team for practices in late May.

But before they could find the right time to start practicing, Blair knew there was something more important than high kicks and cheers that had to be addressed first.

“We had team building exercises showing them how important it is to function as a team, and that’s why we were so successful,” Blair said. “We didn’t let one or two people take over. We as a team decide what’s next. But we do have a great captain in Taylor Ham.”

Blair said she knew a big part of her coming in as a new coach would be identifying with the athletes and making sure they were on the same page about what they wanted for the upcoming year.

But just two short weeks after they began to practice, they went to their first camp, which ended with a competition.

Ham said her and her teammates were filled with curiosity and anxiety heading into the camp.

“It was kind of nerve-racking at first, and we hadn’t been to Mississippi College in several years,” Ham said. “But we were also really excited, we loved it and enjoyed every second of being there.”

Blair said the camp taught the athletes new routines they had to learn quickly.

“It was set up where they teach you things the first few days, like a sideline cheer the first day. And you have evaluation that night on the material you learned earlier,” Blair said. “We had a superior (ranking) every night.”

On the final day, Blair said each team had to implement everything they learned in a competition.

There were four separate competitions: a cheer, a sideline cheer, an extreme (dance) routine and a band dance.

“They judge you on precision, enthusiasm, voice, your energy level, your motions your crowd appeal and team synchronization,” Blair said. “They like for you to try new things you learned at camp. These girls just tried everything, they might fall, but they got back up and did it again.”

Trinity placed first in cheer and sideline cheer, second in band dance and third in extreme routine.

Their overall scores crowned them the game day champions, and Trinity captain Taylor Ham was named to the camp’s All-American team.

Ham said this was her fourth year making the All-American list.

“It’s a really big honor to be able to make that for so many years,” Ham said. “I’m just really excited to start my senior year, and we have a great group of girls. I’m glad to cheer with them and showcase to the town how good of a team we are.”

Blair said she hopes her athletes take what they learned at camp and use it to prepare for football season in the fall.

And though football season is much anticipated, Blair said, they are also hoping to enter more competitions later this year as well.

“I’m working on some competitions in October on the regional level in Jackson, but right now our concentration is getting ready for football,” Blair said. “We’re fired up about it.”