The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

They Trusted Their Training

NA Traditional Cheer places at Nationals
courtesy of Kaylee Kenz

The North Allegheny Traditional Competitive Cheerleading Team began their preparation for the 2023-2024 season back in July. The team held tryouts in hopes of forming a group that would finish the season at the top. By February 12th, their mission was accomplished.

Following a successful regular season, the Tigers earned a bid to the United Cheerleading Association National Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida. The competition took place at ESPN Wide World of Sports. There were four rounds of competition before the UCA Champions were crowned. In the preliminary round, NA placed 10th after performing a zero-deduction routine. After their show-stopping routine in the semifinals, the girls moved up into 4th place. On the last day of competition, the team perfected their routine once more, scoring a total of 87 points. In the end, the Tigers placed 6th in the nation, the highest the team has ever placed in school history. 

“It means so much to be able to be captain during this moment and to see how far we have come as a program since my first year is seriously so crazy and I’m just so proud of my team,” said Co-Captain Emma Flanders.

Mackenzie Volpe, the team’s other captain, feels that the season was a major turning point.

“I am so proud to be captain of this amazing group of girls,” Volpe said. “They are incredibly talented and hard working, and I am glad I could show our young team what NA cheer is all about. I know these girls will make it even further next year, and I’ll be cheering them on the whole time.” 

Addie Graves, a junior on the squad, felt a new spark with this team this year.

“In past years, there has been so much work and dedication put into the routine, but this year, I felt that there was such a different, positive, fun atmosphere,” Graves said. “Everyone supported everyone in every way, and it felt like the whole team was a family and worked together like one, too. Coach Kenz brought the team together in such a great way. I feel that the close bond the team created, made the victories achievable.” 

Kaylee Kenz has been the head coach at North Allegheny for three seasons now.

“It takes a lot of planning ahead of time to work on perfecting a routine to hit at competition,” Kenz said. “’Trust your training’ is something I tell the girls before every routine at competitions. We start doing watered down routines at the end of summer, and slowly add in bits of difficulty as weeks on. We don’t just dive head first into the routine we perform at the end of the year. It is totally a process and requires a lot of building.” 

Morgan Ulmer, a junior, is as excited as Graves for the season next year under Kenz.

“This year, the team was closer than last year,” Ulmer said. “Everybody on the team had a special bond. We will definitely continue to make stronger connections with our teammates and learn to trust each other more as we move forward into the new season.” 

Despite losing some seniors, including her two captains, Coach Kenz believes the girls are excited to work hard and make another run a year from now.

“This placement at nationals and states really sets the tone for the next season,” she said. “We are motivated to keep this momentum going and get the feeling again we had during the award ceremony at states and nationals, and how we felt when we finished our routine. The hard work truly paid off and we are all eager to get back to work for next season.” 

Graves readily agrees.

“With the right choreography and mindset, NA cheer can win WPIALs and states and place top three at Nationals.” 

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About the Contributor
Natalie Kinross
Natalie Kinross, Staff Writer
Natalie is a junior at NASH. This is her first year writing for The Uproar. She plays on the Girls' Basketball Team and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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