Success comes from hard work and facing the odds, but it does not have to be accomplished alone. In fact, support can take you a long way. For Dickinson High School's cheerleader squad, community support could take them all the way to nationals in Orlando, Fla.
Since 2018, the DHS cheerleader squad has been awaiting the opportunity to go back to nationals. Not because of limitation of skill or talent, but because of financial means.
“This will be our second time going to nationals just because of time commitment and the cost,” Audrey Lenz, DHS cheer team co-chair, said. “We can really only afford to go every other year so we gotta make it count.”
In 2018, they took fourth place in the country and have continued their success within the state and within regional.
“We have had judges from past competitions that urged us to compete at a national level after recognizing our talents and skills on our cheer team,” Lenz said. “Our girls are back to back to back state champions and our program has been real successful for the past seven years ."
Last October in Minnesota, they took second place in regional that has unlocked their opportunity to once again commit their effort in taking first in national this year.
“It was great to walk in as the only North Dakota school amongst all these other Minnesota schools and to just be the talk of the competition,” Lenz said.
Now, the team and coaches are asking for community support to help fund their trip to Orlando.
“We’re getting close to our goal. The girls have been going around town asking for sponsorship so we are all doing our part,” Lenz said. “We're hoping that with the additional sponsorships that the girls won't have to make another payment out of pocket.”
The group recently received a donation from Western Edge Aviation, LLC for $10,000. It is a huge donation but still falls short of supporting all 12 cheerleaders and three faculty members that will be going to Orlando. According to Lenz, it costs $2,000 for each team member.
“It feels great that they believe in us to take first place, and we really appreciate them putting in the money to help us achieve that.”
The talent is good, but the commitment is true. Lenz and Coach Cebe Schneider have set their eyes for the gold and know that they have their work cut out for them to acheive that.
“We have been doing a lot of homework and studying, really, just perfecting our routine by adding every element to it as we can to get first place," Lenz said. "When you go to a national level, you are competing with the best of the best and everyone is just as hungry as you are.”
It will be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in the Walt Disney World Resort, Feb. 7 through Feb. 9. Their division will be competing Feb. 7 and are excited to be performing on the highest platform.
“This is probably an event for 90,000 cheerleaders,” Lenz said. “It split into four different arenas and they got constant routines going in different divisions going ... It's a huge three day competition that goes all day.”
She added, “It is just a wonderful experience to be able to compete in this type of arena, this type of crowd and at this caliber. Our goal is to just make our community and our school proud and to put Dickinson cheerleading on the map as a real contender.”
To help support the DHS cheerleader squad on their way to nationals, contact Dickinson High School at 456-0030 and ask for the athletic department.