In addition to numerous team awards and individual honors, Liberty's freshman, JV and varsity squads each brought home the coveted Spirit Stick, given to the school that is first to arrive in the morning to class, is the last to leave, has the best attitude and works well as a team.
After taking fourth at the United Spirit Association's National Cheerleading Championships in April in the Varsity Show Cheer Advanced Division, the varsity team continued its tradition of competing against the best, entering the camp's Elite Division.
The 24-girl varsity squad earned the Superior Award at the end of camp having never received lower than a Superior ribbon during the four-day event, the Tradition Award for demonstrating "game time" traditions, cheers and band dances, and tied for second place in the Camp Champs competition, which gives teams a basic dance and cheer and challenges them to add their own creativity and style. The varsity team also took first for having the best home pom routine.
"This is a very important award as the girls choreograph their own routines," said Liberty Rally Squad Advisor Jennifer Watson of Liberty's home pom award. "Winning this is an acknowledgment of all their hard work over the summer."
Senior Kori Thomas showed she's got "hops," winning the varsity Jump Off competition, in which competitors showcase their best jumps from toe touches and pikes to hurdles and doubles nines. Thomas was also one of nine varsity cheerleaders to earn UCA All-Star status. Other Liberty members to become UCA All-Stars include Jacquelyn Boone, Mary Catherine Bottini, Nikki Hart, Natalie Larson, Tori Pacos, Kelly Rigney, Kellie Summers and Kassi Tadena.
Boone, Hart, Pacos, Summers and Thomas were also asked to join the UCA staff after they complete high school.
"Of the 24 girls on the varsity team, we only have 10 returning members. Many are not only new to the varsity level but they're also new to Liberty. So the team's recent success basically means they're right on track," Watson said. "I'm excited to see what happens for them this season."
The JV team also competed in the Elite Division, earning the title of Camp Champs in addition to receiving the Improvement Award. The squad also took first place for its home pom routine.
JV member Megan Leyen won the JV Elite Jump Off competition. She, Alexis Modlin and Kelsey Carr each earned UCA All-Stars status.
"The JV team is actually doing better than I had hoped," said Watson, also the JV coach. "A lot of the girls stepped into new positions this year and they'redoing it seamlessly. The camp staff also commented on the girls' ability to take direction well. They watched our routine and made comments on how to improve it and we immediately made those changes."
The freshman team competed in the camp's Traditional Division, earning the Superior Award and taking second for its home pom routine and its cheer. Freshman Kasey Castonguay won the Jump Off competition.
With just eight members on the freshman team, Watson said the program will likely hold an open tryout once school begins to bolster the roster.
For Watson and varsity head coach Koren Summers, the 2007-08 season is already a memorable one. Both have been with the program for the past nine years and are stepping down at the end of the season.
"It's been a long time and we're both just ready for something new," Watson said. "We both love this program and will really miss the girls. It's hard to think it will all be over soon but we're trying not to think of that right now. We're just ready for what will hopefully be an exciting season."
The Liberty cheerleaders enter their first competition of the season on Oct. 6 at Paramount's Great America.