Junior high and high school cheerleading squads from all over the state challenged themselves and their skills at the National Cheerleading Association summer cheerleading camp at the University of Missouri Student Recreation Center last week. Volunteers from the NCA served as mentors and judges for the camp. The cheerleaders were judged on the quality of their jumps, the quality of their spiriting or tumbling, enthusiasm, memorization and accuracy. The basketball and football squads from Jefferson Junior High School were the only teams from Columbia at the camp. Some of the girls on the team just joined and are still learning how to be cheerleaders. “This is where they learn the basics and then we go from there,” said coach Jill Villasana, who has been coaching the Jefferson team for six years. Villasana prefers to send the girls to camps where the girls are on the low end of the experience spectrum so they see that their goals are attainable. Also, at camp the girls have more down time to be together as a team and develop more of a social bond and get to know each other better.
Practice, practice and more practice
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