Worst Year Ever?

Discussion in 'High School Cheerleading' started by Sterling von Shimmer, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    What was your worst cheer year ever, either as a coach or athlete? In terms of injuries, unforeseen circumstances, athlete/parent antics, unwanted policy changes, etc.

    Mine was this last year. The wildfires in our area affected some of the girls’ families financially so we couldn’t afford UCA. Which meant that our only National comp would be USA. The girls were disappointed they couldn’t go to Florida, but otherwise fine. They’d done (and won) USA plenty of times in the past and after a few years bouncing around in the top five, they felt ready to take their title back this year. Practices were going flawlessly. They were nailing their STUNT routine time after time. And perhaps most significantly, they’d beaten Oak Ridge earlier in the year... aka the team that would take second in D1 large varsity at UCA. And if they could beat a high tier UCA D1 varsity team, they could FOR SURE beat anyone in the room at USA since it’s much less competitive. They were ready.

    And then the drunk driver happened.


    One week before USA, the girls were headed home from a pre-Nationals sleepover when a drunk driver T-boned them at 10 am on a freeway onramp. Thank Christ no one was killed or seriously hurt, but it just so happened that five girls from five different stunt groups were in that car and each one was injured just enough to cut our team off at the knees (broken hand, broken rib, etc.). Had it happened like a week earlier, I think I could’ve reshuffled some things last minute and still made a go of it. It wouldn’t have been pretty, but we could’ve done it. However, one week out was too late. So they had to sit out of both their National comps, as well as their STUNT comp. The girls were so sick over it that the injured ones offered to hide their casts under their liners or get their casts removed early for the comp so they could compete anyway and just smile through the pain. It was so heartwarming/breaking to see them try and make it work and how supportive they were of each other. Between the wildfires and the drunk driver, they had every reason to implode. But instead they really impressed me with the patience and encouragement I saw them extend toward each other. No one blamed anyone, no one lashed out, no one pulled passive-aggressive social media tantrums... they’d really grown up and matured when the situation called for it. And seeing that was enough for me.

    Happy ending though: after this nonexistent competition year, every single senior still made it onto her college/pro team. So as of right now we have alumni on cheer teams from Berkeley, UCLA, Boise State, Fresno state, San Diego state, Hofstra, Rutgers, UNLV, Oregon, Ohio state (sorry THE Ohio state, she keeps correcting me), Morehead, Minnesota, Washington, USC, Central Florida, UNC, and two on the Raiderettes.

    Additional happy ending: the parents got together and funded a Disneyland trip for the girls that they just got back from, so they got to go anyway. And this time they got to stay at the Disneyland Hotel with UNLIMITED ROOM SERVICE (within reason), so they were happy.

    And that, hands down, was my worst year ever. Yours?
     
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  2. ScottyB

    ScottyB I have my own cheer message board

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    Currently, or it feels like it so at the moment.

    A week or so after tryouts in April, one of my girls (literally the strongest girl on our mat - always full of energy/spirit at everything we did) was a passenger in a jeep rollover accident and was ejected from the vehicle because she wasn't wearing her seatbelt. She was in a coma for weeks. Severe traumatic brain injuries plus some vertebraes being broken. Silver lining, she's alive and there is hope for her progress. But damn, we can't go back in time and tell her to buckle up or tell that teen driver to calm down behind the wheel, and that part sucks.

    She is awake now, but not herself again yet. Re-learning every single part of what being alive means: breathing while chewing, brushing her teeth, talking with her lips and facial expressions, using both hands, using both eyes together, walking, sitting up, the list goes on and on. But damn she fights. I've gotten some partial hugs and gotten to play thumb war with her, gotten to try to make her laugh and fail, and also be successful in finally hearing that laugh again. Our girls have struggled with this a lot; they lost a friend/teammate partially and aren't sure how to deal and cope with it this loss. So we are working on that and attending her rehab sessions in small groups to keep her fighting and to keep the girls together in spirit.

    Truly was a nightmare come to life when our principal called us moments after hearing from the police saying something had happened to one of our girls.

    We've had lots of tears, strong moments as a team, frustrations with understanding how life and the universe work, but ultimately we and the girls decided this season we are going to fight. Fight for her, fight for ourselves, and fight for each other.

    We just finished up choreo and built an awesome routine, girls are excited. Then we surprised them with the music being themed around our "fight" which inspired them a bit more. Then told them one of the voiceovers in the routine is actually their teammate who is sidelined and fighting her fight, which brought back the tears but in a fiery and impassioned way.

    So hopefully this only turns out to be the worst start to a year ever. Sorry for the essay, ya'll.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  3. CheerItFullOut

    CheerItFullOut When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Wow, both your stories got me. I’m so sorry :(
    ScottyB- I have been in prayer for your young cheerleader, and my whole team has brought up well wishes for her in our cheer circle. Stay strong! Glad to hear of her progress.
    Last year was my personal worst year EVER...all in one month, at the height of our season: my husband had his truck stollen, I lost my “healthy” father to a freak brain aneurism all while my grandmother had a heart attack (they were both in ICU’s in different cities) and after returning from being gone from unsuccessfully trying to save my fathers life for 3-4 weeks at UCSF, My husband lost his uncle (also) to an aneurism ... I came back to a completely different squad filled with social fires that I had to put out one by one (at all levels) ... my competition teams were completely divided and totaly broken. I had a starter out with a concussion... a talented athlete who had completely given up on the sport because she was convinced her injury had overcome her.
    It was like I returned to complete and utter chaos and I didn’t know what had happened to my once thriving/happy teams...To top it off, I had a coach quit just a few days before my fathers funeral with our kids having multiple outstanding commitments she was in charge of in my absence. It was just a complete nightmare. After returning, I spent the majority of my time with the kids problem solving, mediating and playing major “catch up” on skills as I came to find after my near month away most practices were either canceled or were held as forums for conflict exchange.
    On a positive: This year has been the biggest blessing and what I believe to be a gift. We have a committed staff and amazing athletes (many from the previous year and many new kids)
    We have awesome parents and renewed sense of spirit. We may have had a turbulent season but I truly feel it made the teams I have now thankful and mindful.
    What they say is true... sometimes you really can’t learn to appreciate the sun unless you’ve had some hard rain.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  4. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    OH MY GOD NOW MINE SOUNDS STUPID.

    No but really, that sucks so hard and I’m so sorry to hear that happened to her and everyone who cares for her. I hope she makes a full recovery and that your team has nothing but success in the future.
     
  5. ScottyB

    ScottyB I have my own cheer message board

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    Thanks for your words and support. I will let my girls know!

    Glad things turned around for you guys too.
     
  6. ScottyB

    ScottyB I have my own cheer message board

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    Don't feel bad. It helped to kinda get it off my chest.

    She is definitely striving towards it, so we are all very hopeful!
     
  7. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    Wearing seatbelts is really so critical. I also had a girl roll her Jeep in the middle of the night after a basketball game who wound up getting tossed from the car and sustaining a stab wound to her abdomen all because...no seatbelt. Afterward, she was dazed but otherwise unharmed so she picked herself up and just started walking aimlessly down the road. Fortunately some Good Samaritan saw her — a 16yo cheerleader in uniform walking in the street, bleeding from the stomach, and dazed out of her mind — picked her up, and dropped her off the the police station (to this day I hate to think what might’ve happened if the wrong person had picked her up...*shudder*). Photos of the accident in the daylight showed the Jeep wreckage on the of the road and a trail of her little oil-soaked size 7 Kaepa footprints walking down the street to nowhere. Super eerie.

    But the fun didn’t end there for her. This girl was a real life French-bred knockout who never went a weekend without a date or a party or an “IDGAF” attitude. You either loved her or hated her, and lots of people hated her. Consequently, all through her recovery rumours swirled that she’d rolled her Jeep because she was high or drunk or had just come back from cheating on her boyfriend (???) and she had to deal with all that crap while tottering around school on crutches because the two-inch stab wound on her stomach meant she couldn’t walk on her own yet.

    Anyway, this all could’ve been avoided with a freaking seatbelt. Or not driving a Jeep. I’m picking up a pattern here.

    *Looks at own Jeep*
     
  8. CheerItFullOut

    CheerItFullOut When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Why did I get RL Stein/Judy Blume vibes from the way you wrote
     
  9. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    Because all I read in jr high was RL Stine? The evil cheerleaders series was my jam.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  10. CheerItFullOut

    CheerItFullOut When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Same...OMG, SAME
     
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  11. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    BOBBI AND CORKY CORCORAN FTW.

    I reread the first three recently and realised nothing made even a shred of sense. Like a girl is dead, but then is alive, but then has really been dead for awhile. And nowhere mentioned are her parents or the cops or social services or her cheer coach or anyone who MIGHT have found that a bit strange. Just a bunch of cheerleaders who are like, “Whelp, it was ghosts I guess.” THIS CONTINUED FOR FIVE BOOKS.
     
  12. CheerItFullOut

    CheerItFullOut When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Right?! But we ATE that stuff up like Thanksgiving dinner! LOL- Corky (IM DYING)
    Oh the scenarios...
    like if your LAST name is FEAR and you live in Shadeyside ... you’re a walking Red Flag
    Your sister/extended family was always a suspect, can’t trust the boyfriend/girl running against you for HC queen or your roommate (I guess this is kinda real teen life) -LOL

    Everyone had a weird trendy 90’s name - Dax, Mason, Shane, Destiny, Livvy

    - I’m going on Amazon to order every RL Stein Fear Street book EVER now, bye