Douglas High School’s varsity and junior varsity spiritline have been invited to compete at the USA Nationals in Anaheim, Calif. Feb. 13-17.
USA Nationals is not a school funded event. Because of that, members of the squad are asking for help from the community to help them make this trip.
Andrea Barallardos, head coach of the squad, said roughly $25,000 is needed in order for the two squads to make the trip. Costs for this competition include registration for both teams, three van rentals, housing, meals, and parking fees each day at the event center. The squad will leave Thursday, Feb. 13, perform Friday, Feb. 14, if selected to the finals, will perform again either Saturday, Feb. 15 or Sunday, Feb. 16,then return to Douglas, Monday, Feb. 17 which is also President’s Day. There is no school that day.
“The fundrasing has gone relatievly well,” she said. “The community has been very supportive. We’ve gotten several sponsors. We’re making one last push to get the remaining amount we need before we take off. They can donate all the way up to the day we leave.”
The athletes have also been fundraising individually to attend this competition.
“(The) DHS Spiritline humbly appeals to your generosity and asks that you consider our athletisism worthy of your sponsorship and/or donation,” a sponsorship letter that was sent out reads. “By making a contribution, your business will receive local recognition and adverstising on a banner that will be visible at our local school events.”
Barallardos says she is taking 20 junior varsity and 17 varsity members of the squad, in additon to herself and her three assistant coaches. Ramon Barallardos, Ysabelle Nieblas and Enrique Chavez.
She added, the team is not staying at the Disneyland Resort hotel but rather at a hotel several miles away, which is saving on costs.
The coach said the cost to attend nationals averages out to roughly $600 per person.
The varsity squad has gone to USA Nationals three times before, the last being 2016 where they finished third. This year, they will be competing against squads from Arizona, Nevada, California and Washington.
This will be the first time the Douglas junior varsity squad will participate. Barallardos sent in a video of her squad and they scored quite high, she said. They will compete in the novice, non-tumbling division.
“The girls this year have this drive that I haven’t seen in a few years,” she said. “They have improved so much from the beginning of the year until now that I feel they’re at the level now they can compete at a national level.”
The Douglas squad recently competed at the state qualifiers and unfortunately, things did not go so well.
“We don’t have a lot of tumbling down here and we competed against Division 1 schools that do, do a lot of tumbling. The Arizona state judging sheet, 50 points of it is for tumbling, we lost a lot of points in that area. If you just looked at our stunting scores and our routine scores, we scored higher than most of the teams in our division. We decided that when we went to nationals, we were going to go into a non-tumbling division and instead, go into advanced stunting. The judging will now be based on their stunting, jumps and dance techinque.”
Barallardos says the squad has really been practicing hard and has actually changed up the entire routine, making it even harder.
“They’re confident,” she said. “I think they’ll do well. Their stunting ability has improved since the state qualifiers in November. We want to make sure we give it our best when we step out there on the mat.”
To donate, or for additional information, contact Maggie Nieblas at (520) 255-0643.