Central Catholic cheerleaders win big at NCA Nationals

SAN ANTONIO - How about some love for the cheerleaders? Lots of squads around town garnering national recognition, but not too many in the status of Central Catholic.

They are 22 girls from Providence and Incarnate Word high schools and one boy from Central. They mastered a routine that won them a National Title.

"That Saturday we hit, it was close to a perfect routine," explained senior Captain Laura Barrett.

The Buttons received an invite to compete in Dallas against squads from around the country. They knew how tough it would be, they've been there before.

"We've been attending for years," said Cheer Leader Lisa Ybarra, "this is the first year we've gotten first place, we've gotten second and third but this is the first 'first.'"

"We have practiced our routine since August," senior captain Micaela Arguijo told Maximum Sports, "no vacation and 5 to 7 days a week practicing just to get to nationals."

"We go to all girls schools so CC gives us a chance to cheer for sports and it's competitive," Barrett said, "that attracts a lot of girls."

When the competition finally came around, they boarded a bus and headed up to Dallas like they had the past 5 years. But this time, after day one of the competition, they received news they never had before.

"It was surreal because we found out we were winning," sophomore Stephon Ramos Benavides said, "we didn't know how to feel about that. Some people were happy but some were crying, we didn't know what to feel."

"We actually had a big lead, it's never happened before," Barrett went on, "it was reassuring to go in and have that step forward."

"We just told them to do it for their school because it was a tradition they would start," cheer coach Amanda Martinez said, "they announced 7th through 1st - us being the only ones on that mat for the award. It was a great win for Central Catholic."

The only thing more amazing than winning might be the legacy this year's squad will leave behind. Because even though 22 girls and one boy will wear national title jackets, they made everyone who's cheered for central a champion too.

"For the alumni it's something special," one administrator explained, "some comments on Facebook are from past cheerleaders from the 60's and 70's, one comment said 'I've been waiting 15 years to see this happen.'"

"They were always watching us and even if they couldn't be there they were watching on TV," Arguijo said, "you could feel the energy and tradition it was great to carry on the legacy."

"It's good just knowing all your hard work has paid off," Barrett summed up, "all the injuries and late nights, everything you've done has come to something and people are recognizing how good our program is."

Central Catholic cheer on San Antonio Living

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