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Spirit teams win national titles, Orange Pride earns three-peat

Sports Editor

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 02:04

Coed/4-17-12

Photo courtesy Lainie Fritz | Orange Pride dance team

FOR THE WIN. The Orange Pride dance team and Coed Cheerleading team won national titles at the national championship in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The Sam Houston State University Spirit Programs had a successful weekend after two of the programs captured the National Championships this past weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida.  

Both the Orange Pride dance team and the Coed Spirit Squads captured the National Championship. Sammy the Bearkat placed fourth in the Mascot division and the All Girl squad also finished fourth.

For the Coed Sprit Squad, it was the first time in program history that they competed in the National Cheerleader Association competition. Rival Stephen F. Austin had previously won the competition six years in a row.

“Honestly I thought it was a dream when it was announced that we had won,” Coed Spirit member Kaitlin Williamson said. “I could not believe it. It was our first time to ever go and it just felt so amazing to go there and show everyone what SHSU coed cheer is all about.

“I’m even getting choked up thinking about it now. The feeling is just indescribable. Competing on the bandshell in Daytona was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever felt. All of the sweat, tears, soreness, and hard work we put in all year definitely paid off.”

For Orange Pride, they secured their national championship in a tight battle at the National Dance Alliance (NDA). The team competed against 11 different teams in the Division-I Open, an increase from last year.

“I was so relieved when it was announced that we won,” sophomore Orange Pride member Lainie Fritz said. “It was such a tight race between us and Idaho State in prelims that we knew finals was going to be a close call deciding first and second place.

“Our division grew this year with teams switching to our division and they were thinking we were a smaller school they could beat. The cool thing was that we ended up with the highest score of the entire NDA competition.”

The National Championship for Orange Pride was the third consecutive in program history. Because of that, Fritz admits that her and every member on the team, now share the same thought, “national championship or bust.”

Even now that this year’s competition has just occurred, the team has already begun to think about next year’s competition.

“[National Championship or bust] has been our mindset all along and I think that’s what got us to where we are now,” Fritz said. “Next year is already in the works.”

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