Two Viking cheerleaders earn All-American honors at summer camp

The lights overhead, the crowd cheering, the team pushing for another win – Friday night lights are in full swing. All of this may seem overwhelming, but for senior cheerleaders Jada Moody and Hannah Broussard, it’s the most exciting part of their week. Before the squad could take the field for the season, they attended a summer NCA camp where the cheerleaders have the chance to be nominated for All-American, the highest honor a high school cheerleader can achieve as an individual. This year, both Hannah and Jada were nominated and chosen as All-American cheerleaders.

Only 10% of cheerleaders who try out are chosen and, as seniors, the girls felt pressure to try-out and make the team.

“I feel like when I was a freshman going into All-American tryouts, I didn’t know anything,” Hannah said. “Senior year was even more nerve-racking because I had the pressure to earn the spot again after I had earned it the other three years.”

For Jada, achieving this title meant something very different.

“I remember during freshman year, I was told how it would be nearly impossible to make All-American without tumbling,” Jada said, “but this year, I kind of felt like I shouldn’t let that be my excuse not to get it. Knowing that I didn’t have another chance to do it in high school, I felt like I had a lot of people to prove wrong.”

Their coach, Latisha Moody, is proud to have gotten the chance to see the girls growing and maturing through the years.

“They are both very hard working and strive to be successful,” Moody said. “To be able to see their transition from middle school years to high school years and see how much they’ve flourished since then is a blessing and an honor.”

During this year’s cheer camp, Hannah was invited to apply to be a part of the NCA staff. When cheerleaders apply, they must submit videos of stunting and partner stunting, and then if they want, submit videos of tumbling. Hannah plans to attend a college to stunt with them for the videos to earn a spot on the NCA staff.

“I am excited to be a part of such a prestigious organization,” Hannah said. “I’m looking forward to sharing my talents and teaching other cheerleaders.”

Doing cheer has always been a goal for these girls, they’ve looked forward to the action and the excitement that came with the pep rallies and Friday night lights for years.

“I’ve alwasy wanted to be a cheerleader,” Jada said. “I would always watch them at football games when I was younger and always dreamt of cheering.”

Both Hannah and Jada have participated in cheer for seven years through middle school and high school, each joining cheer with different goals in mind. Hannah has been dancing since she was two and wanted to try something related to dance where she could use her skills.

“I convert my dance skills in a different way when cheering,” Hannah said. “Cheer is sharper, but dance has helped me become a better cheerleader.”

One thing that may be daunting to a senior cheerleader is the decision of whether or not to cheer in college.

“A lot of people have told me that I should try out for cheer in college, but I want to get a feel for what it looks like first,” Jada said. “I feel like it would be fun, so I’m definitely interested.”

Hannah is also weighing her options and deciding if she wants to pursue these activities later in life.

“For college right now, I am thinking of being on a dance team,” Hannah said, “but cheering is still an option.”

Whether they continue to cheer after high school or not, both girls recognize how cheer has impacted their lives.

“Cheer has taught me to not let what anyone said hold me back,” Jada said. “You get to choose who you want to be. If people tell you that you’re shy, don’t take that as an excuse, you can step up and improve yourself on your own.”

Through many years of participation and being apart of something bigger than herself, Hannah sees the way cheer has helped her grow into the person she is today.

“I’m normally really shy and I stay to myself but cheer has really helped me interact with more people,” Hannah said. “It has also taught me that there’s never a point where you’ll be perfect so you just never stop practicing and never stop giving it all you have.”