XENIA — After trying out to be a Universal Cheerleaders Association All-American at a recent camp, Kate Thatcher wasn’t sure what to expect.
“I thought I did OK,” the Legacy Christian Academy rising junior said. “My coach and a lot of other girls said I did really great. I did try my best but it wasn’t for sure I was going to get it or not.”
And as the final name was announced at Fairmont High School Wednesday, it appeared Thatcher had missed out. But it was actually a UCA staff member who missed … Thatcher’s name.
“They accidentally forgot to mention mine,” the Xenia resident said. “Afterwards they were like, ‘Oh wait, Kate got it too.’ He thought he called me but he didn’t. I was like, ‘Oh, well I guess I did get it.’ ”
Yes she did.
Thatcher was one of 15 chosen from a group of more than 50 at the camp in Kettering and will join other All-Americans to be in an upcoming parade in either London, Philadelphia, or Walt Disney World. There are potentially other opportunities as well.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” Thatcher said. “I think it’s made me a lot more confident because I had never done anything like that before. This was my first time at a UCA cheer camp. It was definitely out of my comfort zone. It did help me. I’m excited about this amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to represent UCA and LCA in future events.”
The camp had 80 cheerleaders including five from LCA. Trying out for the All-American squad wasn’t required, but LCA coach Stephanie Noel “really encouraged” Thatcher to do it.
“She thought that I could get it because I learned the material really quickly,” Thatcher said “There was only one cheer and dance so I practiced those a little bit (Tuesday) evening. There was one little thing, the wording everybody messed up on a little bit because it changed. I just tried my best to remember the correct wording.”
Noel wasn’t surprised Thatcher made the select squad.
”Kate has been cheering since middle school and she definitely has a love for cheerleading and has lots of school spirit,” Noel said. “Kate definitely has true grit and desires to go to the next level with cheerleading. She is a pleasure to have on the LCA varsity cheer squad.”
While Thatcher walked away from the camp with a prestigious honor, and a gold medal for making the All-American squad, the other four LCA cheerleaders — seniors Gracie Sherr and Abby Newell, sophomore Lizzie Parks, and eighth-grader Lilly Fredrick — gained valuable experience and confidence from the camp.
“Honestly, cheer camp is not easy and the LCA cheer team definitely has experienced growth this week,” Noel said. “It was an eye-opener to see what it takes to go to the next level. We have lots of work to do but we are ready for it. Going forward, this UCA camp experience has definitely refocused the team on school spirit and to give our very best to glorify the Lord. Also another lesson from camp, it is good to do hard things and be pushed out of our comfort zones. We have lots of new cheer material to share during the basketball season and stay focused on those five key roles for cheerleading. Staying positive and joyful were also other things we learned during camp.”
According to Thatcher, the UCA staff taught all the different aspects of cheerleading, including sports-specific information for football and basketball.
“We worked on jumps, we did dances, and sideline,” Thatcher said. “They give you a lot of material in a short amount of time. You just have to work hard to learn it..”
And hope they remember your name.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.