We were in Dallas for the largest cheerleading competition of the year, where over 25,000 athletes comprising over 1100 teams performed in front of over 38,000 spectators at NCA All Star Nationals. With the entire Dallas Convention Center, including multiple competition halls, filled with cheerleaders, the heart of the competition took place in the convention center’s arena where the Worlds divisions competed for a coveted NCA Champion jacket, trophy, and banner.
The Worlds divisions started off with the Small Senior division, one of the largest divisions of the competition. After Day 1, Green Bay Elite Lime was sitting in first, with reigning World Champions Woodlands Elite Generals in second and Cheer Extreme SSX in third. But by Day 2, Green Bay Elite had enough deductions in their performance to leave the door open for Woodlands Elite to hit and take the lead in the division.
Woodlands Elite also had a great weekend in the Medium Coed division, beating out their second place contender World Cup Odyssey by almost a full point. With many big-name gyms and teams in this division, including Maryland Twister, ECE, Twist & Shout, Rockstar Cheer, and California Allstars, medium senior coed is getting tougher than ever, and has become a can’t-miss division for many spectators at NCA and Worlds.
Another big winner this weekend was Cheer Athletics, who brought home jackets in four of the twelve Worlds divisions at NCA. Cheer Athletics LadyKatz brought home the first place title in the International Open 6 division, while Cheer Athletics Wildcats dominated the International Open Large Coed 5 division all weekend, bringing home the first place trophy and beating out the World Champions CheerForce Nfinity, and fierce contenders Top Gun OO5. In the new International Open Small Coed 5 division, Cheer Athletics Swooshcats beat out All Star Revolution Freedom (formerly a Small Senior Coed team), and Spirit of Texas Remix. This division promises to be a good one to watch at Worlds!
In the Coed Level 6 divisions, Texas team Champion Cheer Phoenix beat out both of the other teams in the International Open Large Coed 6 division with their high-flying baskets and impressive pyramids. In the newly-created International Open Small Coed 6 division, Tribe Cheer Tomahawks outscored Ultimate Cheer Lubbock to finish in first place.
In the fan-favorite Large Coed 5 division, the reigning World Champions did not attend NCA this year, giving the opportunity for the other large senior teams a chance to show the nation what they’ve got. The real competition seemed to be between Cheer Athletics Cheetahs and Top Gun Large Coed, who were both several points above all the other teams in their division this weekend. But in the end, it all came down to the teams’ raw scores, and Cheer Athletics Cheetahs had such a high raw score that despite having more deductions on day 2 than TGLC, they still ended with a higher score and took home the win.
One of the closest divisions of NCA Nationals was the Medium Senior division. With only one point separating first place from seventh place, many teams were seeking perfection on day 2 in hopes of beating out the other teams and making their way to the top of the division. Last season’s dominating team, Stingrays Peach, ended in fifth, only a half point below the first place champions, Spirit of Texas A-Team. Just 0.16 behind A-Team was Top Gun Lady Jags, who despite having no deductions, landed in second place. Rounding out the top 3 was Cheers & More Lady Respect, who seem to get better and better every season, consistently improving their rankings at NCA Nationals every year.
In the always-heated Large Senior 5 division, World Cup Shooting Stars and Cheer Athletics Panthers ended Day 1 in a tie for first, with Stingrays Orange just under one point behind. But World Cup pulled ahead on Day 2 to come away with the win. New to this division is Texas Lonestar Cheer Company Red, who had an impressive showing, beating out KC Cheer Fearless and finishing just under half a point below revered Large Senior team Maryland Twisters F5.
Perhaps the most talked-about event of the weekend occurred on Sunday in the International Open 5 division, where Cheer Extreme Cougars trailed East Celebrity Elite I5 going into Day 2, and the reigning World Champions, Cheer Sport Sharks from Canada, trailed in third place. As Cheer Extreme Cougars began their routine, their music abruptly stopped about 30 seconds into their performance. Unsure what to do, the team continued performing, with the entire arena yelling out counts for them. Apparently the crowd support was just what the Cougars needed in that moment, because they hit their routine and were the only team in their division that day to have no deductions. In the end, they placed ahead of all of their competitors and brought home the winning banner.
The weekend’s biggest winners, Brandon Senior Black, brought home the win in the Small Senior Coed division by over two full points, despite all top 5 teams in their division having no deductions on day 2. Brandon also claimed the title of Level 5 Grand Champions, scoring the highest out of all Level 5 teams at NCA Nationals. This is the second year in a row that Brandon Senior Black has won Grand Champions at NCA, and this year they are hoping to continue the winning streak with a Worlds win that they’ve been seeking since their last Worlds win in 2011. The California All Stars Smoed, the team that has won Worlds in the Small Senior Coed division for the past four years, ended the weekend in third place, and GymTyme Platinum finished in second.
In the end, Texas teams represented their state well at NCA, with wins in 8 of the 12 Worlds divisions. An impressive feat, considering 41 states and 5 countries were represented at NCA All Star Nationals this year! With this biggest competition of the season in the books, we will all be looking forward to the final competition of Varsity’s Triple Crown, UCA’s International All Star Championship, to see how the teams stack up heading into Worlds at the end of April.
Look below for results, photos, and videos of this weekend’s winners, and click here for a full list of results from NCA All Star Nationals 2016.
Small Senior 5
2. Green Bay Elite Lime
3. Champion Cheer Heat
Small Senior Coed 5
2. GymTyme Platinum
3. The California All Stars Smoed
Senior Medium 5
2. Top Gun Lady Jags
3. Cheers & More Lady Respect
Senior Medium Coed 5
2. World Cup Odyssey
3. Maryland Twisters Reign
Large Senior 5
2. Cheer Athletics Panthers
3. Stingray All Stars Orange
Large Senior Coed 5
2. Top Gun Large Coed
3. Stingray All Stars Steel
International Open 5
2. East Celebrity Elite I5 Ladies
3. Cheer Sport Sharks Great Whites
International Open Small Coed 5
2. All Star Revolution Freedom
3. Spirit of Texas Remix
International Open Large Coed 5
2. Top Gun OO5
3. CheerForce Nfinity
International Open 6
International Open Small Coed 6
2. Ultimate Cheer Lubbock
International Open Large Coed 6
2. Cheer Athletics Claw6
3. Victory All Stars Sky Masters