They’re cheering on the Coral Shores High School varsity football team and igniting the crowd during halftime under the Friday night lights. But before the season even began, the high school varsity’s cheerleading showed that they’re a team to be reckoned with.
This past summer, the cheerleading team head coached by Dominique Hickory trekked to the Bonaventure Resort and Spa in Weston for the National Cheerleading Association cheerleading camp. It was no vacation for the girls as they worked from morning to night during the three-day camp perfecting their skills and learning new cheers, chants and stunts.
Hickory says the girls’ talent and hard work were on full display during evaluation and competition. Best of all, the team came away the top team in the chanting division.
Going up against nine schools of varying sizes and divisions, the cheerleading team received the Team Stunt S.A.F.E Award, Team NCA accreditations, and overall most improved, which earned the team not just a trophy, but a Gatorade cooler for the sidelines. Not only did they come home with all sorts of awards, but they received a bid to the national competition in Dallas, Texas.
“I cannot tell you the feeling of pride I had for these girls when they were receiving all their awards this year,” Hickory said. “Their faces told me everything. They were proud of what they were able to accomplish at camp.”
With team performances, there were also individual accomplishments and nominations for perfect cheer, chant, dance, jumps, tumbling, stunts and leadership. Several girls on the cheerleading team were nominated this year, including Emma Kost, Heather Manfre, Annika Needham, Alana Byrd and Julie Powers, who also made the All-American Cheer Team.
“These girls are going to do great things, and I cannot wait to watch them grow into young ladies,” Hickory said.
The work Hickory’s put forth is also garnering attention. For the second year, she was a recipient of the Lawrence “Herkie” Herkimer award for exemplifying unity, kindness, sportsmanship, team spirit, leadership, and being an all around role model to shape and mold the girls into respectful young women. Hickory says she’s honored that NCA recognized her.
“I try and instill these values into my team as I find coaching isn’t just being great at what you do, but also a way to better some lives and to be an example of respect, community and compassion to all the students and athletes,” she said. “I hope when they too grow up that these actions carry on through them.”