During a competition in which the Peninsula Seahawks junior cheerleaders had seven girls nominated for the All-America team, three selections — and the top performer in the camp — Peninsula High School cheerleading coach Kathy Crowley didn’t put that at the top of her proudest moments.
She saved that for taking home the spirit stick.
The PHS cheerleaders dominated the National Cheerleaders Association Get Shocked Camp at Western Washington University earlier this month, winning several competitions in addition to taking home all of the individual honors.
“I’m proud of our girls,” Crowley said. “This was a choreography camp in which we had to learn all new routines, as well as tumbling in about three days, and more during the camp. It’s a real accomplishment.”
Kelly Shirley, Ashley Bluhm, Christine Rasmussen, Cheyenne Holland, Shyanne Carter, Halley Adams and Samantha Richards were all nominated for All-America status, and Richards, Adams and Carter won the award.
In addition, Adams was selected the top All-American for the entire camp, and she was invited to be an NCA staff member at next year’s event.
The squad also brought home team awards for all-girl partner stunt group, top tumbler, all-girl stunt group and the jam routine.
But Crowley said the coup de grace was taking home the spirit stick, an award that is presented to the team that shows daily the most sincere spirit and enthusiasm for the day. It takes into account attitude during classes, promptness, cooperation, relationships with other teams, leadership and more.
“It’s great to take home the spirit stick every year,” Crowley said. “But I’m very proud of the team this year for bringing it home, and for how we pulled together and became a family over the course of the camp.”
Peninsula has taken home trophies during the past few years, winning the PacWest competition in Portland two years ago and finishing in the top five of the WIAA state cheer championships the last five years. Crowley said the team also maintains a 3.5 grade-point average during the course of the year.
Next up for the PHS cheerleaders is their 13th annual junior cheer camp, which will be held Aug. 13-15. The camp will cover the various cheers that the senior girls perform at the games, as well as dances, tumbling and stunting.
The campers also will have a final-day performance for family and friends.
The camp costs $60 for those who preregister and includes a T-shirt, cinch sack and a CD of the cheerleading music. Those who do not preregister can still attend by paying $70 at the door, with no guarantee for T-shirts or bags.
The proceeds go toward purchasing uniforms, as well as funding for a national competition and other traveling events.
For more information about the camp, call Crowley at 253-219-9330.Sports Editor Chris Crawford can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at Chris.Crawford@gateline.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_chris.