The Dixon High School Cheerleading teams attended the National Cheerleaders Association Cheer Camp at Lindenwood University in St Charles, July 6th through 9th and took home some honors.
“We attended camp with 21 other teams from the St. Louis area, Kentucky, and Southern Illinois,” Head Coach, Sarah Gsell, said.
The Bulldogs Cheer teams brought home several awards during the three day camp.
“We earned the coveted Spirit Stick all four days of camp, not an easy feat to be full of spirit when every muscle in your body just wants to rest,” Gsell said.
The team earned four ribbons, three superior ribbons and one excellent ribbon for cheer and chant evaluations. Dixon also earned the top performance Team Trophy for their competition routine. The final team award was the Technical Award for stunts and pyramids, an award that was only given to two teams at the camp.
Senior Kaitlyn Ray said, “Camp this year was a great experience. It helped us decide exactly where the bar should be set for our season. The girls and boys worked really hard and I am excited to see where this season goes.”
Several of the bulldogs earned individual awards at the NCA camp. The bulldogs had seven All American nominations. The following Bulldogs were nominated: Audrey Eckert, Trevor Graves, Felicity Houston, Brady Perry, Kaitlyn Ray, Lydia Withers and Kyzee York.
“I think our team can become more of a family this year and work together to become better. The more we work together the easier it is to achieve our goals as a group. We all believe in each other. Which is something I wouldn't change for the world,” Senior Felicity Houston said.
The America Needs Cheerleading program recognized Trevor Graves, Felicity Houston, Skylar Maddox and Lydia Withers for their exemplary skills and teamwork during the camp.
Trevor Graves won the Outstanding Individual Leadership Award, one of only two athletes to receive it. Graves received and invitation to join the 2018 NCA camp staff for the summer cheer camp season. If he is selected he will be an instructor at cheer camps across the country during the next summer.
“I'm thankful they thought I deserved the individual leadership award. There were a lot of brilliant leaders and a few on our team that might've deserved it more, but I really appreciate the fact they thought I deserved it. The application is a very high honor I'm very grateful to have received it. There's a taxing tryout process hopefully I can make NCA staff and continue my career that way,” Trevor Graves said.
Gsell said, “To my knowledge Trevor is the first and only cheerleader from Dixon to be asked to return as staff for NCA.”
The 2017 Dixon Cheerleading Team is comprised of the following individuals; Senior Captains Audrey Eckert, Trevor Graves, Felicity Houston, and Kaitlyn Ray. Other Seniors were Skylar Maddox, Kyzee York, and Chance York. The Juniors were Abri Decker, Brady Perry, Mylee Strain, Macey Whitaker and Lydia Withers. Dixon Sophomores were Sophia Bianco, Gretchen Eckert, and Hope McClendon. Their only Freshman was Madison McBride.
“The DHS cheerleaders had a productive week at camp. I am incredibly proud of how much our team accomplished this week. We aim to entertain at all of the basketball games this year,” Senior Audrey Eckert said.
The Dixon Bulldogs also received National Federation of High School Sports Credentials and a bid to compete at the National Cheerleaders Association Competition in Dallas Texas for the team's performance routine. They are also looking forward to more competitions this year.
“I am incredibly proud of my team's success at camp and can't wait to see what they are able to accomplish this season. The individual awards were made possible by the amazing team working alongside of them. As a coach I have high expectations for my athletes both in and out of the gym. I want them to look back at their years of high school cheer fondly and be proud of what they were a part of. They are such a hardworking group that the sky's the limit! They set goals for themselves and do everything they can to achieve them and with that drive I have no doubt they will go far in life, ” Gsell said.