December 30, 2004

CV cheerleaders win national championship

By JD Hawk

“She landed on my head. My neck just cracked—I heard it crack!” said Aztec cheerleading coach Amelia Moran while remembering a cheerleading stunt that went wrong. “They cry, they get frustrated, they get mad, but when they place, it’s all worth it,” she said.

But the pain would soon pay off — for her, and her Chula Vista neighbors. The altruistic Moran, along with her friends, have just given Chula Vista a national first. The Chula Vista Aztec cheerleaders, of American Youth Football and Cheer, scalped the American nation of approximately 300 million, in a cheerleading competition in Orlando, Florida, in December. They are now recognized, across the board, as the best.

Though there aren’t any official records that can be checked, or governmental regulatory committee that can be summoned for counsel, the fact remains that this is the first time in anybody’s die-hard memory, that Chula Vista has achieved such an honor. And the impressive harnessing of 22, otherwise chaotic teenage girls into a cohesive, unified, victorious force is a welcome cheer for the Aztecs, because the Aztecs have been competing under various names since 1959.


Aztec cheerleader, Ashley Villaseñor-Jasmund, celebrates first place finish.

The multi-cultural Aztec cheerleaders, who ranged from ages eight to 13, had an experience of a lifetime during their trek to Florida where they won the 3-foot tall national trophy. Besides being filmed for the nationally syndicated “Regis” while visiting Disney World, the glamour girls got to see how the rest of the country operates. “There were a lot of white people,” cheerleader Ashley Villasenor-Jasmund said. “It’s true.”

But her more politically correct mother, Yolanda Villasenor-Jasmund, said she was unable to discern the race of most of the well-funded competition — (Ahemm. Cough-cough — White ).

Regardless, there were over 50 squads competing from all around the country, full of the most beautiful, the most charismatic and the most driven..... and the Aztecs beat them all.

Understanding the stereotype of the blonde-haiedr, blue-eyed girl associated with cheerleading, the now crooked-neck Coach Moran said she prepared the squad by telling them: “You guys are multi-cultural, you’ll have to show them what you can do: the stunts, the top-link, the sharpness of position... and everything.”

In other words, you aren’t what they were expecting, so “WOW” them.

But besides overcoming stereotypes, the main obstacle in competing on a national level may be that a significant amount of money is needed. How do you fly and feed 22 girls for eight days? ( The cheerleaders were away from Chula Vista for a week.) You need money. In this case, $14,000. “We could not have done this without them,” Moran said about the Aztec sponsors: Diamond Electronics, Carroll Companies, Kim Keith Wolff, Industrial Metal Processing, Inc, Janet’s Cafe, Rick Moreno, Rosa Estrada, and Krispy Kreme Donuts

Honestly, these companies had no idea that their company names would be publicized. And there was actually, arguably, an absence of reason their part to help. Because there is no pay-off, there isn’t a return on investment, and there isn’t a foreseeable profit margin. Because when it comes to beautiful teenage girls doing high-altitude flips, companies go goo-goo and melt to mush. And if that doesn’t work, a heartfelt phone call from a cheerleading-mother with a sincere voice will undoubtedly create a lump in the throat. “We need your help,” she might declare.

Perhaps it’s this unspoken realization that trumps logic. The thought of fireside memories of mothers recitating the town’s urban folklore of past victories may call to attention the indifferent. The metaphoric ringing of the com-munitie’s town bell send chills up the spine of hardened scrooges with relentless guilt. And the so-called payoff won’t be recorded in the CPA’s legal work.

But the rewards do come. They come with the high-kicks, the smiles, the charisma, and spirit of eternal optimism that surpasses most pessimistic and jaded minds.

The Chula Vista Aztecs achieved their victory by hard work and discipline. For instance, “Ashley the Aztec” had to flip in the air with a devil-may-care attitude. Ashley perfected the toe-touch, which means she volunteered and willingly participated in a dangerous stunt. Ashley was thrown in the air by her friends, robbing earth’s gravitational limits, and did the splits while in mid-air. She performed this without a single mishap— which assures the cheerleading coach/mothers who have all willingly sacrificed their time and efforts. “Me and my coaches have all been hurt by girls falling on our heads,” Moran said.

“It can be quite comical.”

But what is left when the ultimate goal has been achieved? “

“I will try this again next year” Moran, the ten-year veteteran coach said.

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