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bigbrod81

I'm so proud of my girl!

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My daughter Ava & her cheer squad Heartbreakers, recently won a National Championship in a competition in Atlanta. Yesterday, The Advocate ran an article about their accomplishments.

Denham Springs cheerleading academy wins two national titles

  • ADVOCATE STAFF REPORT
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  • 5aa178057015f.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C80

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  • Ella Houston, Ava Heims, Meghan Houpy, Lauren Doucet, Kylee Mitchell, Chloe' Martin, Brooklyn Torres, Chloe Elkhansa, Emily
  • Bercegeay, Rylee Simomeaux, Haley Whetstine, Kennedi Blair, Mackenzie Koczrowski, Lane Martin, Georgia Graves, Victoria 
  • Reed, Sky Stokes, Zoey Calmes, Kaylen Williams, Bella Szymanski, Breleigh Davison, Ellasyn Badeaux, Brynn Thigpen, Kaia Perry, Avrie Sibley and Aleksis Guillot celebrate their win.

Cheer Sport Academy, of Denham Springs, sent six teams to Cheersport Nationals in Atlanta and returned with two national championships. 

Member of the CSA teams, Cheetah Girls, Heartbreakers, Royal, Blush, Angels and Lady Aces, range from 6- to 18-years-old.

The Heartbreakers, Youth Level 2, coached by Jessica Angelo and Kaylin Calmes, earned its second consecutive title.

Cheetah Girls, Mini Level 2, traveled to Atlanta for the first time and earned a national championship. It is coached by Madison Guidry and Kaylin Calmes.

Royal, Junior Level 3, is coached by Jamie Roger and Brandon Whitley. The team finished in second place but finished with its highest score, 96.87.

Overall, CSA Cheerleading finished the event with a top 10 finish, a top 5 Finish and two teams finishing second, in addition to the two titles.

Director Jessica Angelo said the groups face a couple of local competitions and the U.S. Finals before "The Ultimate Championship," The D2 Summit in Orlando.

CSA Cheerleading is owned by Kevin and Heather Calmes.

http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/communities/livingston_tangipahoa/article_c3da5e88-22ff-11e8-89f8-a3995a7e0d69.html

herb, Saint ATN, Dru and 4 others like this

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It really was awesome. Looking forward to D2 Summit in Orlando May 10-13. This will be the best of the best from all over the country. Squads have to earn an invite by receiving the highest score of any squad at a Summit competition during the competition season. The girls made it 2 years ago to D2 but it obvious they weren't prepared for the big stage then. This squad is different. They are ready & hungry. 

The Cheersport Nationals in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center had over 1000 squads from all over the country when most competitions top at 30-40 squads. So the big stage is no longer an issue. 

My personal highlight of that weekend was sneaking off with Ava to go visit the College Football Hall of Fame in between performances. I wasn't sure if she would like it even though she enjoys watching football too. I think she had more fun than I did.

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Agree 100% with louisb and sfidc2...My older kids are in their 20s and late teens and moving on.  Still have a 13 year old who is just about to enter high school.  So I have a few more years left of ballgames, tournaments, track meets and chasing the team bus around the state.  But this journey has gone in the blink of an eye and I find myself on the tail end of it now.  Trying to savor every bit.

Congrats again to your daughter, Brod.  These are great memories.

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Thanks everyone. I will let everyone know how they do at the D2 Summit competition in May at Disney.  They have two more "warm up" competitions until then. One here in Baton Rouge (March 24) & another in Pensacola (April 14-15)

I have to thank Taris for suggesting to visit the College Football Hall of Fame during one of the game chats. It was an awesome experience. It's worth it if you make a trip to Atlanta.

herb and Bonckers like this

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Just you being there with your daughter will stick with her for the rest of her life. Congrats to your daughter and squad and I wish them well in there next meet.

bigbrod81 likes this

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UPDATE:

To start off, I will post the link to the video of the Heartbreakers' performance back from February that was hosted in Atlanta that earned them the Cheersport National Title for the Youth Medium Level II division. (This is premium content from tv.Varsity.com. I'm hoping you guys can view the videos as well but you probably won't be able to. I will post the links anyway.)

https://tv.varsity.com/video/6113102-csa-all-stars-heartbreakers-2018-youth-medium-2-d2-day-1-cheersport-national-cheerleading-championship

Tv.Varsity Cheersport results

https://tv.varsity.com/articles/5061375-cheersport-nationals-level-2-results

D2_Logo.jpg?v=1

 

D2 Summit was this past weekend in Orlando at ESPN's Wide World of Sports where the Heartbreakers were the #1 seed in the Youth Medium Level II division. Saturday evening our girls went on & knocked it out the park resulting in a 1st place position heading into the Finals on Sunday just like a #1 seed should.

https://tv.varsity.com/video/6201473-csa-all-stars-heartbreakers-2018-l2-medium-youth-semis-the-d2-summit

Championship Sunday there was a feeling the D2 Summit National Championship was in the bag. The girls performance was on point as usual until they got to the pyramid part of their routine near the end. In the video, you can see the top girl on right of the formation (left on the screen), came down early & the timing was off with the other two top girls of the pyramid (around 2:09 of the routine). The team was ultimately deducted points from their overall score because timing is a key component of the scoring system. 

https://tv.varsity.com/video/6201718-csa-all-stars-heartbreakers-2018-l2-medium-youth-finals-the-d2-summit

That small error ended up being the difference in coming in 3rd place & winning a National Title. It was sobering feeling following the awards ceremony because everyone knew, including the competing teams that Heartbreakers were the team to beat. Just as in any other sport though, there is an extreme line between winning & losing. 

Despite the disappointment, all the parents & coaches made it known to the girls that they had nothing to hang their heads about. There were thousands of Youth Medium Level II squads across the country who would have loved the opportunity to make D2 Summit much less finish 3rd in the country. I know the girls wanted that Natty though. We all wanted it too. I'm still a proud dad though & extremely proud of the girls for a great season. I know the hard work & dedication that was put into this season. This was a season that won't be forgotten any time soon. Congratulations Heartbreakers!

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CSA Heartbreakers Pregame Saturday May 12

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You have evry right o be proud they did a great job! I had an ex co worker who had brought their daughter down there. Didn't see if they won or not though. I'm assuming not, it wasn't blasted in Facebook. Just that they were headed down there. 

bigbrod81 likes this

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9 hours ago, Bonckers said:

You have evry right o be proud they did a great job! I had an ex co worker who had brought their daughter down there. Didn't see if they won or not though. I'm assuming not, it wasn't blasted in Facebook. Just that they were headed down there. 

The atmosphere was awesome all weekend long. Prior to my daughter being in competitive cheer, I had no clue about anything revolving around cheer. I would have laughed at anyone who called it a sport just a few years ago. Not only anymore. These girls bust their butts to get to D2 Summit. I've witnessed first hand broken/dislocated arms & broken legs along with numerous other types of sprains & ailments. These girls are tough. I've seen them fight through injury to compete so they won't let their teammates down. You see this at allthe competitions throughout the season.

This was Ava's 5th year in cheer. Everyone knows I'm extremely high on leadership & work ethic. 2 seasons ago Ava was playing football in an empty lot with some boys in the neighborhood. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know, one has to ask how is a girl who is involved in cheer playing football with the boys. Despite cheer, Ava is tomboyish. She is bigger than most girls her age & I guess my love for football rubbed off on her. She already watches NFL & NBA games with me. Even her classmates at U-High were shocked to find out she did competitive cheer. Anyway, she sprained her wrist playing football with those boys. It just so happened to occur during the competition season. She was worried about not being able to compete in their next event that year. We worked desperately to get her ready for the next event & it just so happened she healed in time. Her wrist injury was significant because she is a bottom girl who holds the top girls in the pyramid. I didn't fuss her but I explained to her that since she is a member of a team she needs to think about what she does outside of cheer & how her actions can effect her team.

Fast forward to this year. The coaches raved about how Ava is like having another coach. She keeps the girls in line at practice when some may want to play & not listen to what's being told. She took the competitions seriously & it rubbed off on may of the other girls. I can't help but to be proud. One, she took what I told her to heart. Secondly, she is a team leader. Not everyone is built do that. She is only 12 years old but she carries herself like someone well beyond 12.

It was so emotional after the awards ceremony because reality set in not only with finishing 3rd. We all knew prior to Summit some girls wouldn't be back for 2018-19. Financially, its a lot & some parents don't realize this until the season starts. It's also draining because of the practice schedule. Some girls also move on to the senior squads due to age. The ole lady said Ava would be taking a break because she couldn't handle the daunting schedule. She takes most of the responsibility of getting Ava to practice because she has the more flexible work schedule. The coaches knew of this months ago. So did Ava & a few of the parents. It was all tears when we meet the coaches & girls outside the tunnels of the arena after awards. It was very emotional. It was even hard for me to hold back. As we began to all go our separate ways, the head coach was like, see you guys at practice in two weeks. I simply smiled & walked away. The ole lady was like, why are they tugging on my emotions? My gut says Ava will be at practice next week. Lol 

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That is awesome. I understand it is difficult with the schedule, and it sounds like you rdaughter is blossoming. If she can make the schedule work that is what makes these kids into great adults and leaders of the next generation. 

bigbrod81 likes this

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5aa178057015f.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C80

I also want to take the time to recognize another very special girl from this Heartbreakers squad. That would be Ella Houston. (In the picture above, Ella is on the left, standing in front of Ava) Maybe a month after this photo was taken at the Cheersport competition in Atlanta, Ella sustained a concussion during one of the weekly practices. While undergoing medical tests for her concussion, her doctors discovered & diagnosed Ella with Myasthenia Gravis. It's a very rare chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease (see more about Myasthenia Gravis in the link)

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Myasthenia-Gravis-Fact-Sheet

 Because of this diagnosis, her parents were forced to remove Ella from the team. With the girls earning their bid to Summit all the way back in October, all arrangements for Orlando had been set up months ago. Despite her recent diagnosis, the Houston's still attended Summit even though Ella would not be performing. She still felt like she was apart of the team which is so true. Without Ella, there would have been no D2 Summit bid to begin with. To all the parents & coaches surprised, Varsity had prepared a tribute to Ella prior to squad's performance on the Saturday of the competition. They had the emcee call Ella onto the floor while giving a brief explanation of Ella's situation. The girls are usually held backstage until they are given the signal to come on but the officials allowed the girls to come out early. All the girls crowded around Ella & traded hugs with her before taking their pre routine positions on the mat. It was a really touching moment that left most of us in tears. The Houston's are really good people who are entering what will be some trying times dealing with Ella's disease. My thoughts & prayers are with them. They also have the full support from the CSA gym/family. We all know Ella is a fighter & she will fight to overcome this disease.

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Awesome story Brod. I first heard of this disease when I was a teenager in the 1970's. It was 100% fatal and patients were given a few months to live after diagnosis. I am happy to see modern medicine now allows those diagnosed to have a normal life expectancy. I do have to add one thing. It wasn't covered in the link. Do not give small children or anyone for that matter, Aspirin until they are tested for this disease. It's on the warning label of every bottle if you read the fine print. 

bigbrod81, Saint ATN and Bonckers like this

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I honestly had never heard of this disease until Ella's parents informed everyone of her diagnosis but one of the first things they explained was that treatment for it has come a long way in the last 15-20 years. Ella is in the stage where her doctors are trying to narrow down the right mix of medications for her. Each patient/case is different so finding the right mix of medications is different for each individual case.

Bonckers and Saint ATN like this

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