Northgate Cheerleaders Win Eighth State Title

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Robyn Clarke, Staff Writer

“We were all crying tears of joy,” senior Carlin Marchbanks says of the moment Northgate was announced as the 2017 Cheerleading State Champions. She calls winning the title three years in a row “unimaginable,” adding, “This year…it showed me that never giving up and setting the bar higher than you feel you can reach will get you the results you dream about.” Sophomore Callie Frazier shares similar thoughts on the win, saying, “Winning this state title reassures me that all the hours, training, and sacrifices going into the last two minutes and thirty seconds is truly worth it.”

For Frazier, who has looked up to Northgate’s cheerleaders her entire life, being a part of the team is a dream come true. But cheering for Northgate is bigger than simply performing routines. She says, “After being a part of this team for three years now, I have learned how to put others first, and how to sacrifice things in my life for something greater than myself.”

Her mother, head coach Sarah Frazier, hopes each cheerleader learns life lessons from being a part of the team. “I hope that they learn to never give up when things are hard from being part of our program and what commitment means… I hope that they are able to see the results of all of their hard work and commitment, and that they see what they can accomplish when they don’t give up.” Coach Frazier, who has led the team for fifteen seasons, says she most enjoys the creativity of cheerleading. “I am a creative person… I love working with my team to come up with ideas to make our routine entertaining.” This year, creativity turned into a challenge for Northgate’s cheer team as they spent many hours learning and perfecting the dance that was part of the routine. “It took us a lot of trial and error (and patience) to get the dance portion of our routine at a level that appealed to the judges.  But we worked through it.  And the…difference between us and 2nd place was half a point.  If we had not spent the extra time on our dance, the final results could have ended up different,” Coach Frazier explains.

To Marchbanks, those traits of hard work and dedication are what makes Northgate cheerleaders. From the time tryouts begin in February, until the state competition takes place in November, the squad is working hard to not only become better as a team, but as individuals. They use the phrase “Finish Empty” as motivation to work as hard as they can. “It always encouraged us to push ourselves until we had given our all and left it all on the mat,” she says of the mantra.

When junior Kasey Stanley looks back on the season and the journey to the championship, her mind travels not to a competition, but to her teammates. “In the beginning of the season, we were a good team, but we weren’t a family. By the end, we came together and proved that we became a family.” Her favorite part of being on the team is seeing her teammates-who she calls her sisters- each day and the relationships they build. Frazier shares similar sentiments; she knows the memories she’s making as a Northgate cheerleader will last a lifetime.

Perhaps that’s the secret to Northgate’ s success: family. This is their fourth state title in seven years, and the eighth since Coach Frazier took over in 2002. In Stanley’s words, “My teammates have become my sisters and I couldn’t do life without them.”