TACOMA, Wash. — Cheerleading camp was a success for 13 spirited Ilwaco cheerleaders this summer at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma July 29 through Aug. 3.

The group from IHS placed fourth in Xtreme Routine, third in Game Day and fourth in Most Improved categories, according to adviser Sheryl Schisler. The 13 cheerleaders also received five superior ribbons and one excellent ribbon.

The Ilwaco cheerleaders competed against 2A, 3A and 4A schools. They also won the spirit stick and the spirit banana the first day of camp.

“I know it may sound funny, but teams live for being a cheer squad that wins this (spirit banana) honor,” Schisler said. “There were only two bananas given out daily for extreme spirit and excellence,” she said.

At the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) camp, staff members may only give two cheerleaders Pin-it-forward pins. Kelsey Douglas was chosen as a cheerleader who demonstrates leadership, spirit, commitment to excellence, kindness and motivation. She then in turn needed to observe other cheerleaders from other teams and then pick a cheerleader that demonstrated those same qualities in the Pin-it-forward program.

Kayla Coffin received All-American Cheerleader honors at the UCA camp. That is the highest level an individual cheerleader can receive. Only 10 percent of the thousands of cheerleaders across the U.S. receive this honor. Coffin was invited to perform in London at their New Year’s Day Parade.

The team received an invitation to perform at the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl football game in Honolulu in January. The cost is $1,195 plus airfare per cheerleader. “This would be a total cost of $33,000, which sadly is out of reach for the cheerleaders,” Schisler said.

Ilwaco cheerleaders attending were Natalie Tapio, Mariah Dunafon-Weir, Ally Rose, Kassidy Plato, Taylor Kemmer, Arri Weigardt, Emily McMillan, Darian Johnson, Ashley Thompson, Noelle McPhail, Douglas, Coffin, Alisha Trusty, Bailey Gray and Nautika Hart-Jansma. Other cheerleaders are Zoey Powers, Darrien Sommers, Lacie Cutting, Lupe Hernandez and Rosie Lee.

This is the first team awards earned by Ilwaco cheerleaders at UCA camp since 2003, according to Schisler. She nominated Gray, Tapio, Johnson and Weigardt for Cheer Hawaii to be held the last week in June.

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