Yeraldin Almanza’s cheer team practices one the routines on the football field at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Almanza is standing on the bottom far right. (Courtesy photo)
CCS student, Yeraldin Almanza, attended the Cheer Hawaii camp at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in June. She is shown wearing a Hawaiian lei she received as she arrived in Hawaii. (Courtesy photo)
CCS cheerleader attends Cheer Hawaii
Yeraldin Almanza, a cheerleader at Chase County Schools (CCS), was nominated last fall to attend the Cheer Hawaii program this summer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa from June 21-28, said Ayla Smith, assistant cheer coach at CCS.
After nomination, Almanza, who will be a junior in the fall, began the work raising $3,000 in funds to attend.
“She was selected because she’s a hard worker, and she puts all of herself into everything she does,” Smith said.
Smith commented that Almanza was a little shy during previous years, but she has come out of her shell and really stepped up in her leadership skills.
“She’s come into her own and become a great role model,” Smith said.
The other criteria for selection for this program requires a strong GPA and excellent leadership skills, both as a student and a cheerleader. The nominee must also meet Cheer Hawaii’s high standard of moral character.
Almanza said she had never flown, seen the ocean or done much traveling, so she was nervous at first, especially not knowing anyone.
She said the first day was mainly introductions and orientation for the 153 cheerleaders attending the cheer camp.
The attendees were divided into 12 groups for the camp
“It only took a short time before I felt comfortable with my cheer group and my three North Dakota roommates,” Almanza said.
The following days became a whirlwind of hard work learning new and more difficult cheerleading skills, classroom instruction, presentations by various college coaches on being a college cheerleader and enjoying traditional Hawaiian cuisine.
Each of the 153 attending cheerleaders brought with them a T-shirt representing where they were from. They had a T-shirt swap where Almanza received a shirt from a Texas cheerleader.
The T-shirt she brought for the swap included Nebraska, Chase County and the Longhorn school mascot in the design.
Almanza was the only Nebraska cheerleader in attendance.
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