Cheer squad looks to get to the top of the Summit in first year as gym

4 months 4 weeks 2 days ago Monday, March 09 2020 Mar 9, 2020 Monday, March 09, 2020 6:52:00 PM CDT March 09, 2020 in Sports
By: Connor McCann, KOMU Sports

OSAGE BEACH - A cheerleading gym that has been competing for just under a year has gotten a bid to compete at Disney World this May.

The Show Me Athletics cheerleading gym in Osage Beach hasn't been competing for long. But this past January, some of its athletes received the best news that a competitive cheerleading squad could get.

"I was over the moon, obviously," co-owner and head coach Lance Marriott said. "It's always a goal for any major program, to try and get to that event, and we're definitely wanting to provide that opportunity to the kids of mid-Missouri."

Marriott has been coaching competitive cheer for the past 18 years, and this is his first time coaching a team at the D2 Summit Championship, which parents and coaches consider to be one the biggest competition in the sport. That team is the Icons, a Junior Level 2 team made up of boys and girls between the ages of eight to fourteen from all over mid-Missouri. After winning the Live Kansas City competition in January, the team found out a few days later that they had received a wild card bid to Summit. 

The coaches say a first-year gym getting a bid to Summit is not very common. It's something that requires a lot of hard work and sacrifices from the athletes and coaches involved.

Seventh-grader Taylor Rassenfoss has been cheering for eight years, and this will be her third trip to Summit. She said even though the sport has a lot of flash and smiling, it's a lot harder than people think.

"So much work and effort is put into it and I think my biggest pet peeve is when people tell me that cheerleading is not that hard," Rassenfoss said. "It is a hard sport."

Another athlete, Jordan Beattie, said that the teamwork aspect of the sport is the most important part.

"You have to work together or nothing will hit," Beattie said. "If you're not all counting, your routine doesn't work."  

While it may seem difficult to keep a group of young athletes focused at Disney World, Marriott is sure that won't be a problem.

"While it is a vacation and a vacation environment, we're there for business," Marriot said. "We're not from Florida, and that May sun can zap your energy pretty quick. We want to make sure we're capitalizing on our performance and qualifying as high as we can."

Summit takes place in May, and the gym's other two teams, Premiere and Fame, are still trying to get bids of their own.

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