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Catamount Cheerleader Lacey Canada's Student-Athlete Blog

April 26, 2010

Cullowhee, N.C. - Lacey Canada is a senior Communications major from Chapin, S.C., and member of the Western Carolina cheerleading squad. Lacey has provided a series of blogs helping readers gain insight as the squad prepared for and performed in the national competition. Canada and several of her teammates provide final thoughts from the year and nationals competition in this edition of her student-athlete blog.

If there is one thing I have learned from this whole experience it would be to take the good and leave the bad. My stunt group has used this motto all year and it is so true. Don't dwell on the bad; forget about it, learn from it and move on. After the awards ceremony in Daytona, we all had mixed emotions. But like I already said, getting seventh out of 12 team overall and making it to finals both were accomplishments in themselves.

Our last day in Daytona (April 10) was a fun day. We met in the lobby early that morning and headed down to the beach to take team pictures. This was a fun time of us and our families. We took team, pyramid, stunt group and individual pictures.

After our photo shoot, we were free for the day. NCA was holding top gun stunts and stunt fest at the band shell and many of us went and watched it while others of us played on the beach. By mid-day we were wall on the beach playing volleyball, laying out, and swimming. We were having so much fun just being together as a family and enjoying the beautiful day.

I have shared my thoughts, feelings and opinions about our national's experience. However, I thought hearing about a few of my teammates favorite memories would be a great closure to our 2010 NCA Nationals adventure:

"One of my favorite parts of the National's experience was all the free time we had together. Every day when we practiced, we had to come in really focused on what we needed to accomplish during our time together and this was just a fun time where there was no agenda. It was great to just hang out with the people we already spend so much time with, but without the pressure of practice. It was so much fun to just hang out and joke around with all my team mates and friends!" - Sarah Dromm, Freshman



"There is only one word to describe my experience as a Catamount cheerleader at the 2010 NCA Collegiate National Cheerleading Competition -- unforgettable. The seemingly endless van ride to Daytona Beach, Fla., was completely worth it once the team stepped foot on the competition floor for the preliminary round. How I felt when the bright lights were focused on us, the roar of the crowd became deafening, and the chills that ran down my spine is something I will never be able to fully put into words. It was absolutely incredible!

Then, to top off the rush of the emotions once we hit the competition floor, we qualified for finals! Ah, it was amazing!

By far, my best memory is spending Saturday on the beach with the team playing volleyball, having a photo shoot, laying out, throwing basket tosses in the ocean, and Josh (Burcham) frolicking in his Speedo to layout with Coach Kim. It is days like that that will stick in my mind for a long time to come.

This experience taught me a lot about myself and my teammates, but mostly that I shared this past year with some of the most amazing people I will ever know. Every single person on the team has a piece of my heart because we have all been there for each other through the ups and downs, the fun times and near-death experiences (weights); the good and the bad, heartbreaks and tears. Three seasons after this team was chosen, we are still rock solid and closer than ever. I am very thankful for all of these people I have practically lived with over the past year, and I am so blessed to have such an amazing family away from my family." - Kristin Beeker, Junior

"I was so excited when we decided that we were going to Nationals this year. I was the only one on the team that had competed in Daytona before so I knew what to expect. Last time we were at Nationals we were 0.02 points away from making it to finals. We were all disappointed, but I wanted to change that this year. We pushed each other all year. We had some tough times, were tired and worn out, but that didn't stop us. There was so much energy coming from everyone and I loved it.

When they announced that we had made it to the finals I was ecstatic. I hugged each one of the girls. We have been through thick and thin and to make it that far was amazing. It's hard to describe what I was feeling because I was feeling so much.

The seniors that are leaving this year I have watched them grow for four years and I will miss them so much. It's going to be so hard to see them leave but the friendships we have made are irreplaceable. They are my sisters and I will be there whenever they need me. GO CATS!!!" - Chase Holleman, Senior