From sidelines to the stage

BVH cheer team takes their first win CIF title home


Photo provided by Virginia Torres

On Dec. 3, the Bonita Vista High competitive cheer team performed at San Marcos Highschool at CIF. The team preformed a home cheer routine winning first place in Division II group small.

On Dec. 3, the Bonita Vista High (BVH) competitive cheer team arrived at the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) for the first time since 2018 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s CIF was hosted at San Marcos High (SMH) where various Southern California high school competitive cheer teams attended. BVHs cheer team had put in hard work and preparation, which would eventually lead them to winning their very first CIF competition.

Through the weeks of preparation, there were several setbacks, such as last-minute practices due to the shortage of cheerleaders. There were two cheerleaders that weren’t able to perform with the team, leading to a two-hour practice the night before the competition, one person down. During this practice, a substitute from junior varsity (JV), junior Lily Medina, had to step in. She was taught the whole routine in under 24 hours. Not only did this bring immense pressure on them, but as well as Head Cheer Coach Vivian Angulo.

“Two of our girls, mainly in my stunt group, got their paperwork messed up so they weren’t allowed to do CIF. We had to make changes the day before, hours before [the competition]. We had to bring someone from JV and a stand-in for my stunt group so that was hard,” flyer, tumbler and senior Skylar Aguirre said.

While at CIF, there were various deductions made on their performance. During one stunt, Aguirre stumbled out of the group and fell onto the mat. Although the cheer team made a few other mistakes, they still hoped for the best. They all went through the same experience while also having feelings and sentiments they could relate to as well as bond over. 

“I feel better about the team. I feel close to them and I feel like we actually have a chance at winning [the next competition],” Aguirre said.

I feel better about the team. I feel close to them and I feel like we actually have a chance at winning,

— flyer, tumbler and senior Skylar Aguirre

On the day of CIF, the cheer team had to wake up as early as 4:00 a.m. to ensure they would arrive on time and be able to practice the routine before performing. As the cheerleaders were waiting to be called onto perform, they commented having felt nervous and jittery.

“Those last ten minutes backstage [before performing] and warm-up times were extremely nerve wracking. Everyone was trying to make sure that they did the best they could and everyone was getting sweaty hands. It was scary,” flyer, tumbler and senior Dahlia Navarro said.

Before announcing which team won, the team had huddled together in anticipation. When BVH’s name was announced, the team commemorated the moment with excited jumps and hugs to congratulate each other. Angulo explains how this would remain a memorable moment for her as a cheer team coach.

“I cried [because we won]. It’s just a good moment, a proud mom moment,” Angulo said.

Throughout the preparation of CIF and the actual competition, the team stuck together and tried their best, even when they felt that there was a low chance of succeeding. The team faced many challenges, but still won first in the competition for Division II Small Team Champions.

“I think our team has been through a lot and we put in a lot of work and the results of this competition,” Navarro said. “I’m proud of my girls because even though we had a lot of challenges we stuck together and that showed how strong the team is.”