The Saugus cheerleading team took a trip to Anaheim for the United Spirit Association Spirit Nationals over the weekend and came home with some hardware.
The varsity squad competed in Anaheim with only three days of preparation. The team spent the last weekend in Orlando at the NHSCC Nationals Competition. The three-day turnaround resulted in a third-place finish for the Centurions.
“We flew back into California that Monday,” said head coach Candace Rogers. “We got off the plane and went straight to practice. They changed their routine in three days and went to USA Nationals and placed third.”
In Orlando, the Centurions’ varsity squad went straight through the finals and placed fourth on a different national stage. The 2020 run was the deepest the Centurions have gotten in the NHSCC Nationals in school history.
Despite not defending its 2019 USA National Championship title, the Saugus varsity team still pulled off a very impressive venture.
“I think it just shows their work ethic,” Rogers said. “Their determination and motivation. They wanted to finish strong. Even though they didn’t win the national title, it just speaks in itself what they’re capable of doing when they put their heart and their mind to it.”
The junior varsity squad took first place in a field of 15 teams. The girls scored well enough on Friday to take first place by the end of the first day and held that position throughout the entire two-day competition.
The Centurions’ junior varsity team was named the 2020 USA National Champions after falling short last year as the JV Show Cheer Intermediate Runner Up.
“I think they were just extremely happy because they were so close to taking it last year but didn’t,” Rogers said. “It was almost like redemption for them in a way it made them work harder because it just slipped out of their hands. They worked really hard because they didn’t want to take that second place again.”
The amount of effort the girls showed coincides with the motto the team has stuck to all year. One that the school adopted after its tragedy in mid-November. One that the students and student-athletes live by.
“Saugus Strong. That was our team (motto) this year,” Rogers said. “Staying Saugus Strong.”