The Indian Valley competition cheerleader squad — a team consisting of 11 cheerleaders — weren't happy with its performance at the state competition this year.
The group was all smiles Monday morning, however. The Braves were celebrating their return from a national competition with the top prize in hand.
The Braves finished first in the High School Non-Mount division in the Cheer Ltd. Nationals at CANAM this weekend.
"This was exciting ... we really had a great time," said senior cheerleader Alivia Frye.
The Indian Valley squad competed Saturday and were ranked first and then earned the top ranking after Sunday's competition as well.
"They are that good, but this was our best performance of the year," Coach Wendy Chrisman said from the team bus during the trip home Monday. "They all pulled together to make it happen.
"When you only get 2 1/2 minutes to perform, it's hard to make it happen every time. There are always mistakes or things you could do better, but we took the performance on Saturday and worked on improving areas based on judges comments and got the top score again Sunday."
Frye said the group has been practicing this routine since November.
"We practice five days a week for over two hours each day," Frye added. "It's the same program, but we've changed it numerous times. Every time we go to a competition, we do it a little different."
Frye said the team has competed six times, but this is the first championship on the season.
While the team consists of high school students, Frye said there was plenty of experience in the group.
"I've been doing this since the third grade and I'm pretty sure it's the same with everyone else," she commented. "We've had a lot of support. We have multiple sponsors — companies and individuals — and we couldn't have done this without them."
Cheering for the team were: Lexi Jewett, Cassidy Carlisle, Camille Love, Alivia Frye, Aaliyah Warfield, Calista Neff, Maddie Butler, Jaide Cox, Chloe Colvin, Brianna Brown and Kelsey Ferguson. Cathy Wells is also a head coach for the squad, while Terra Frye serves as a volunteer coach.