Few get the opportunity to call themselves a national champion in their lifetime, but in Springhill that is exactly what the senior level-two Diamonds of All-Star Cheer Express have earned the right to call themselves.
In late February, the Diamonds competed in Dallas at the NCA National Championship competition, putting their skills up against 1,147 other teams from 41 other states from across five different countries.
At the competition’s conclusion, the judges decided the Diamonds stood out above the rest, an astounding accomplishment for not only the team, but the woman who opened ACE eight years ago, Kelly Garland.
“I opened our gym eight years ago in our barn in Sarepta,” Garland said. “We began with 20 girls in the barn to stay out of the sun.”
Now competing out of a new facility in Springhill with 63 girls and three competition teams, Garland is humbled by the success and appreciative of the hard work and dedication shown by her group of girls.
“They’ve done really, really well,” Garland said. “We’re a small gym and we’ve won something really, really big.”
All-Star Cheer Express’s success hasn’t been limited to the recent national championship. They also won a bid to The Summit in Tampa, Florida, by putting on a spectacular performance at the Arkansas Challenge in Hot Springs, Arkansas, earlier this year.
“We’re the only team in this area to have ever gotten this bid besides the Louisiana Rebels of Shreveport and they have over 300 kids in their gym plus a bigger group to choose from in Shreveport.”
In addition to the senior team’s bid, the junior team earned a bid to the Summit as well.
Hopefully, it’s only the beginning of giant success for the small Webster Parish gym.