The Vandebilt Catholic High School Cheerleading dynasty lives on.
The Terriers won the State Championship this past weekend at the 2019 LHSAA State Spirit Competition in Kenner, outlasting several other teams to secure the Division II crown.
This is the 7th-straight year that Vandebilt wins the State Championship and it’s their eighth straight title. In 2013, the LHSAA allowed teams to compete in multiple classifications and the Terriers won both.
“It feels amazing,” said Kayla Vicknair, the Cheer Coach at Vandebilt. “To see the smiles on my girls’ faces is what it’s all about and makes all the hard work and long hours worth it. No, the feeling of winning never gets old.”
Vicknair said this year’s title was one of the more fulfilling ones in the team’s run.
She said Vandebilt is young this year, which caused some changes to their usual routine.
The Terriers have five seniors on the squad, a group consisting of Captain Morgan Landry, Co-Captain Kayla LeBoeuf and senior members Sabryn Richoux, Bella Dangle and Hale Greer.
“Instead of having 20 girls on the mat like we have had in the past, we have 16 this year,” Vicknair said. “Our routine is very similar to last year’s in that our cheer and fight song are pretty much the same. Our cheer is our traditional competition cheer that has been around now for about four years.”
There’s so much pressure that goes into competitive cheering.
Teams train and practice and go over their routines with a fine tooth comb for months, but then on the day of the competition, it all comes down to a few minutes of real-life competition.
“The amount of pressure these girls take on for this is crazy,” Vicknair said. “Not only do they feel the pressure to uphold the state title, but they get one shot to do it. I always explain competitive cheering to people in sports terms like, ‘We get one shot to make the touchdown,’ or ‘We get one play and we don’t get the ball back.’ Everything has to be perfect, and we start preparing in April for this.”
In the prelims, Vicknair said Vandebilt was OK, but not at the level they’re capable of.
In the finals, they turned on the jets and were near-flawless, helping to earn the 199.334 score that catapulted them to the title.
“In the finals, our girls were amazing,” Vicknair said. “We did have two hiccups, but I’m beyond proud of how our girls recovered from them and continued pushing through the routine.”
So with one trophy in hand, the Terriers are eyeballing more.
Vicknair said the team will continue to compete leading up to Nationals in February.
OTHER LOCALS FARE WELL AT STATE
Our area was well-represented at the State Competition.
In Division I, Central Lafourche finished as the State Runner-Up, finishing with a 185.666 score — second to only State Champion Dutchtown.
In Division II, the Terriers took home the title, but South Lafourche also was the runner-up, posting a 185.001 score.