PRESTONSBURG - The Prestonsburg High School varsity cheerleaders recently returned home from a National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Summer Camp. The camp was held in Gatlinburg, Tenn. and attracted over 300 cheerleaders from surrounding states.
The NCA selects award-winners at each of the 1,100 camps it administers around the world each summer. The National Spirit Group, one of the largest privately held cheer and dance organizations in America, holds events for over 150,000 cheerleaders and dancers around the world. The National Cheerleaders Association, founded by 1948 by L.R. Herkimer, has been conducting camps for over 57 years.
The Prestonsburg High cheerleaders received the following awards:
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BID WINNER: Award given to the team bid winner exemplifying the best technical skill and cheerleading technique. The bid is extended to teams to compete at the NCA Senior and Junior High National Championships, both held in Dallas in December.
HERKIE TEAM AWARD: Named after the NCA founder, the Herkie Team Award is awarded to a squad that best exemplifies the qualities upon which NCA was founded. The qualities are Leadership, Values, Teamwork and Superior Performance Skills.
SPIRIT AWARD WINNER: The prestigious spirit award goes to the team that best exemplifies true team spirit and camaraderie throughout the entire camp.
STUNT SMART AWARD: The stunt award goes to a team that displays superior skills in stunt exhibition.
JUMPS AWARD: This award goes to a team that best exemplifies superior skills in jump incorporation.
MOTIONS AWARD: This award goes to the team that displays superior skills in motion technique.
In addition, as part of the four-day camp curriculum, the NCA honors individual accomplishments. Jennifer Belcher, Kristin Boyd, Jackie Joseph, Katie Hale, Allison Hamilton, Ashley Moore and Liz Wallace were all All-American nominees. The All-American nominees, those who display strength in cheer motions and technique, leadership ability and overall attitude at camp, are eligible to perform in various NCA special events.
Hamilton and Belcher were each named to the All-American team. Belcher was named NCA Top All-American. The Top All-American honor is awarded to the highest scoring All-American Team member and the camp's overall top cheerleader. Belcher has been invited to this year's Kentucky-Vanderbilt football game by Vanderbilt University cheer coach Pam Pearson. Pearson, who was in attendance at the camp, also invited Belcher to tour the campus and meet the Commodore cheerleading squad during the fall visit.
The Prestonsburg High cheerleaders are coached by Leslie Ousley and Janice Hamilton.
During its stay in Gatlinburg, Prestonsburg High cheerleaders were treated to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and a ride on the Gatlinburg Skylift. The group also posed for an "Old Tyme" photo. The squad is looking forward to the upcoming football and basketball seasons.