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  • Brady Woodhouse

Walls Places Second at DCIAA Cheer Tournament


Members of the Walls cheer team compete in the DCIAA championship March 11 / Credits: D.C. State Athletic Association


The Walls cheer team has only competed in the DCIAA Cheer Championship for three years, but already has two first-place rankings under its belt. This year its winning legacy continues, with the team earning second place.


The DCIAA Cheer Championship was hosted at Calvin Coolidge Senior High School on March 11. The gym was filled with supporters of schools from all across D.C.


In preparation for the competition, the team amped up their practices. Co-captain Aliyah Blake (‘23) explained, “In practice, we did lots of full outs to help with endurance and the week before the competition we started to really drill technique and small details.” A full out is to practice the routine as the team would on the day of the competition without marking flips and stunts as they might have earlier in the practicing process.


“The night before the competition we even went to a gym so we could practice on a real mat and understand spacing/positioning for the competition,” co-captain Lucca Domenici-Mills (‘23) said.


The team was aiming to perform their routine without a single mistake. “As we got closer to the competition we would run through the routine and restart if a mistake was made so that we were able to get the routine as close to perfection as possible,” Domenci-Mills said.


“Cheerleading is one of those sports where whoever makes the least mistakes wins… the difference between first and second place can be less than a point,” Blake said. In fact, the Walls cheer team had a higher raw score than first-place winner Theodore Roosevelt High School, but got a deduction because of a mistake.


All of that work culminated at the DCIAA Cheer Championships in front of a huge audience. “It was scary at first and I think it’s safe to say that we were all nervous walking onto the mat,” Sadie Feldman (‘26) said. “But personally, seeing our coaches Asia and Mike and our teammate Stephanie gave me confidence.”


Walls’s performance had the highest raw score — the routine was beautiful and impressive. The unity with which every cheerleader performed was reflective of the cohesion that the team has focused on since the beginning. Cheerleader Sofia Culbertson (‘26) said, “we focus on our technique and joining and working on each other as a team.”


Many people may only know the cheer team from the sidelines of basketball games, but they are a formidable opponent in their own right. And the Walls cheer team has only gotten stronger, with the number of cheerleaders doubling since last year.


Blake and Domenici-Mills enjoyed having so many more people. “Everyone came with different levels of experience and it was fun to see everyone and everything come together,” Blake said. Domenici-Mills said it “helped me grow and learn in terms of being a leader.”


Blake and Domenici-Mills met on the cheer team in their freshman year and became best friends. “I met my best friend freshman year through cheer, so getting to be a captain with her for my last year was great,” Domenci-Mills said.

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