Published on April 30th, 2014 | by Kim Conley
All Access with Hailey: Worlds 2014
Hi AC Readers! This is my last blog of the 2013-2014 all star season, and it is definitely the most exciting blog I have been able to write this year! Since my last blog, my team, The Stingray Allstars Orange, performed at the Champions League as well as at the Cheerleading Worlds in Orlando. Although the Champions League was a lot of fun, the most exciting part about these past couple weeks happened just this past weekend at Worlds!
On Wednesday, April 23, The Stingray Allstars hosted a Worlds showcase for our four Senior Level 5 teams. Slate, Peach, Orange and Steel all performed for a huge crowd of parents, friends and fans. Orange showcased one of the best routines we have ever done. It was an amazing way to go into the weekend! Following the routines, it has always been tradition that the seniors perform their last standing Back Handsprings or Back Tucks as members of The Stingray Allstars. It is a very emotional moment. As the whole gym counts “5, 6, 7, 8,” the tears begin to flow. After that, it becomes like Christmas for all of the teams, for we are given our Worlds goodies. In adorable drawstring bags, we were given team shirts and tank tops to wear for the weekend, as well as other cute little trinkets. It was the perfect way to go into Worlds weekend.
Friday, April 25, Orange flew as a team to Orlando from Atlanta. When we arrived in Orlando, we rode a bus to our hotel, unpacked a bit and then had practice under the lights on the golf course. The next morning, we woke up and practiced yet again to prepare for the competition on Sunday morning. Also, we were able to watch Stingrays International Open Coed 6 team, Rust, perform in Prelims at the Wide World of Sports. They competed an amazing routine and advanced into Semi-Finals! The rest of the day we relaxed at the pool and played volleyball until our early bedtime.
Sunday morning was a very early wake up call. We had to meet to compete at around 9 AM. After the bus ride over to the Wide World of Sports, we stunted for a couple of minutes and then went to warm ups. Our first performance at the Cheerleading Worlds was one to remember. We only had one minor mistake and still had room for improvement, but we came out with a first place score for the day! While the world had counted us out based on some rough routines in the past, it was an amazing feeling to be able to prove them wrong. That afternoon we had a team bonding lunch at Café Tu Tu Tango, Orange’s favorite restaurant. The food is amazing, and we always take a ton of pictures wearing our orange outfits! After that, we went back to the WWOS to support the other Stingray teams in the Semi-Finals.
On Monday, we were schedule to compete around 9:45 PM, so all day we relaxed, watched the other Stingray teams and then got ready to perform our last routine of the season. The energy around my teammates was amazing, and I knew that something special was about to happen. When we walked out of the tunnel and onto the stage that was set up on the baseball field at the Wide World of Sports, the crowd was going wild. Orange was the very last team of the night, so we had to put on a show! The music started, and the most incredible thing happened – Orange hit! The feeling was amazing, and we all walked off of the floor crying tears of joy and hugging. We had done it; now all we had to do was wait for awards.
Waiting for awards was the longest time of my life (and we actually crossed into Tuesday morning while we were waiting), but it was so worth it. When all of the Large Senior teams walked up onto the mat, you could see all of the talent that division was made of. You could see everything those teams had gone through just to make it to that moment in time. Just sitting on that mat with all of those girls, I knew that everything was worth it. As the announcer gave out the placements and got to the top three teams, I had already started crying. Third place was called, then second, and our name still had not been called. On Tuesday morning, April 29, 2014, The Stingray Allstars Orange became the Large Senior All Girl World Champions! It was the moment that every all star cheerleader lives for! We had done it; we had proven ourselves to the world and won gold! To top it off, we became the first team to consecutively win gold in Small (2012), Medium (2013) and Large (2014)! I am so blessed to be one of the few that have been a part of all three teams.
We could not have done it without our coaches Paul Beck, Brandon Glenn and Roger Schonder. I am so thankful to have been guided by them this past year. Also, I personally couldn’t have made it without my 37 amazing sisters. On the mat or off, I know that I could lean on them for anything. It was an unforgettable moment to be able to conquer the world with them. As we say goodbye to the seniors and to others moving on, I can’t help but thank them for all that they have done for me. It is going to be so different without them and I will miss them dearly.
As the season comes to a close, everybody is already at the gym working hard for tryouts. With all of the memories I’ve made these past six years at Stingrays, I cannot wait to see what this next season holds. As a senior, it will be my last season, and I cannot wait to make it count!