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Roseville school brings home cheer title

Eich team wins first place in Anaheim
By: Stephanie Garcia, Press Tribune correspondent
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The W.T. Eich Middle School cheerleading squad won first place in the Junior Co-ed Novice division of the 2013 USA Jr. Nationals Sport 2013 Cheerleading Championship, held March 2-4 at the California Adventure theme park in Anaheim.

Hundreds of teams attended the three-day competition, where cheerleading squads were scored on tumbling, jumps, timing, overall choreography, difficulty of stunts and technique.

Head coach Kaitlin Efsaif said she was extremely excited for her team.

"I am truly blessed to have coached such a wonderful group of kids,” she said. “Every year is a new and unique experience and, after almost 10 years coaching Eich, the teamwork and dedication never ceases to amaze me. Thinking back to the beginning of this season, I cannot believe half of the squad members were completely new to the sport. It’s been a long road this year, and we lost some team members due to injuries, but that didn't stop this resilient co-ed group.”

Efsaif coaches the team along with assistant coach Summer Maffi, Callie Holleran and Courtney Trueblood. The 25-member squad consists of Grace Brennan, Bailey Butcher, Alyssa Corpuz, Jenny Hutchinson, Madeline Katapodis, Josie Kilakowske, Kristen Cox, Megan Krebs, Hailey DeVore, Talya Larab, Lauren Dolby, Korena Phillips, Sloane Dumitru, Halle Price, Jeffrey Ellis, Breonna Sanchez, Erin Foster, Sierra Svoboda, Daisy Garcia, Zach Trueblood, Karly Weiss, Isis Garcia, Aly Hall, Elma Zukic and Mikayla Garcia.

For some cheerleaders, this championship concluded their time at Eich. Eighth-grader Kristen Cox will be attending Oakmont High School next year, and said this experience has been an unforgettable one.

“Being a part of the Eich cheerleading team for the past two years was such a great experience and I'm glad to have spent it with two different, yet close, groups of girls and boys,” Cox said. “Everyone has become so close and coming home from Anaheim with a national championship feels so good to all of us inside and out. I look forward to trying out for the Oakmont High School team this year and becoming an even bigger family, just like my previous two years as an Eich cheerleader.”

Eich’s cheer squad competed in four regional competitions this school year and won three of the four.

“We were undefeated in three regional competitions until a tough loss where we fell second place to Buljan Middle School,” Efsaif said. “This only pushed our team to work harder to accomplish our goals, and bringing home a national championship title proves it.”

Although Buljan Middle School did not compete at the national competition lasat weekend, winning the Jr. Nationals gives Eich a friendly step up in the local competition.

“We could not be more proud,” Efsaif said. “This team is passionate, hardworking, dedicated and became a family in the process. The memories made over the year and the time spent together in Disneyland is enough to last a lifetime.”

Next year, the Eich cheer squad will include incoming sixth graders. Efsaif hopes that this will give her team more opportunities for continued success in the years to come. For now, she and the team are content with the staggering 4-foot trophy and title that they will surely compete for again next year.