This past week, 40 Costa Mesa High cheerleaders and their two coaches traveled to Palm Springs to attend a different type of summer camp than usual.
The Mustangs chose to go "elite" and challenge themselves to a more difficult and competitive summer camp. An "elite" camp features cheer squads from some of the best programs around the surrounding states. Mesa came and represented well.
During the grueling, fast paced four days the team showed its spirit, skills and dedication. The programs came from the entire state of California and Nevada, and were some of the most notable programs around. The camp was filled with extremely talented cheerleaders.
The Costa Mesa cheerleaders started the week competing with their home routine, which they performed flawlessly and received a perfect evaluation. Their routine had so much energy that the entire ballroom began clapping along and cheering for them. The energy in the room was amazing. This built their confidence to shine the rest of the week. Learning new material, top elite stunts and transitions and even adding in some very important bonding time, the girls left camp victorious.
The girls brought home first place in varsity home routine, varsity superior overall trophy, fourth place elite camp routine, JV third place in home routine, second place in cheer, thrid place in dance and superior overall trophy, varsity and JV spirit sticks.
Alyssa Dasca also took second place individually in the jump competition. The team also was awarded the Traditions Plaque for the third year in a row. The Traditions Plaque is awarded to the team that exemplifies the spirit of cheer and being leaders in and away from competition, chosen by the staff.
Varsity team members, Alyssa Dasca, Courtney Hatch, Taylor Jones, Selena Arreola, Natalie Fowler, Lexi Stroman and Adriana Rodriguez all competed in the All-American tryouts and all were selected and received a medal and invited to a trip to perform in London on New Years Day.
Junior varsity members Kamryn Hamilton and Jordin Peurrung also were chosen as All-Americans. Captains from both squads were also invited to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Both teams were invited to cheer in the Capitol One Bowl because of their superior performances.
Not only did the teams win awards for their skills but also were rewarded for their charity and kindness during camp. Every team member received a St. Jude pin for participating in the philanthropic initiative to raise money for St. Jude's Hospital.
Courtney Hatch and Emily Neppl also received special America Needs Cheerleaders pins for showing kindness to others during camp. Each day both squads received spirit sticks to reward their outstanding team spirit.
"When you see that you are working a camp with CMHS you know that not only will they bring skills, but they work hard in achieving new ones and they will bring excitement to camp," Frank Molina, a UCA staffer, said. "The girls from Mesa are a unique group of talented and fun cheerleaders that always add so much to a camp."
Along with all the team awards, Alyssa Dasca, Courtney Hatch, Selena Arreola, Adriana Rodriguez and Taylor Jones were asked by the Universal Cheerleaders Assn. to try out for staff instructors. Last year, Kerlly Castellano was asked and made the cut and is now teaching camps across the country.
Both CMHS cheer coaches, Kori Johnson and Jesse Beltran were ecstatic with the performances of the team.
The CMHS girls came with great skills but focused on developing and attaining new and much more difficult ones and worked hard to master them. We couldn't be prouder of the team, not only with all the trophies brought home but with the girls' character, strength and determination to keep improving and taking the program to higher levels each year.
— Kori Johnson
CMHS Cheer Coach and Advisor