CHEER-U: Lions Cheer Developing College Stars
DURING LEGACY PREP CHRISTIAN ACADEMY ’S RECENT CHEER TRYOUTS, SENIOR CHLOE GONZALEZ GOT THE CALL.
Gonzalez was running the Lions’ tryout for the young girls with her senior teammates. Everyone gathered around when the call came.
“All the girls saw my reaction and we all started freaking out,” Gonzalez said.“It was tears of joy and just an overwhelming feeling. All of the sacrifices and hard work had paid off. It was worth it.
”So, who was on the other end of the line?
A co-captain on theUniversity of Texas cheer team, who congratulated Gonzalez on earning a spot on the 2022-23 Longhorn cheer team.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” Gonzalez laughed. “I’ve been told there will be cameras everywhere and the energy is indescribable. At games, you just look up and see a sea of fans. I love to perform, so I can’t wait to soak it all in."
Gonzalez is not the first Lions cheerleader to hit the college sidelines. Caroline Day, whose mom Laura is the Lions’ cheer coach, is a full-fledged Cheerlebrity for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
“It is pretty impressive that a small school like Legacy Prep has some elite cheerleaders representing the Lions in college,” Day said. “You have to be very determined to get to that level and Chloe is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. She’s also a tremendous student.”
Being a University Model School has played a huge role in the success of Gonzalez and Day.
Legacy Prep offers a traditional high school experience with a full-range of athletics and games which promotes school spirit, but what sets the school apart is the college model schedule.It allows for more time to do outside activities.
“Being able to cheer for your school is so much different than competitive cheer,” Gonzalez said. “You learn to engage the crowd and motivate people. You need to be really peppy, which is a great thing. It really brought out my out-going side.
“As a college prep school,Legacy Prep also allowed me to practice more on my cheerleading skills at the competitive level. I was able to travel more to college camps and competitions.Legacy Prep was so flexible.”
Gonzalez has cheered competitively for WoodlandsElite since the age of six years old. The time commitment and wear and tear on your body is the price the most elite athletes pay to pursue their passion.
“Cheer has taught me so many life lessons andI’ve met so many life-long friends,” Gonzalez said. “It has really shaped me as a person, where I’ve learned to be a team player and being a part of something bigger than yourself.
“There have been so many sacrifices. Our prom was during the weekend I had Texas tryouts. There was no way I was missing those tryouts. I had come too far. I was banged up last year with an ankle injury where I had stress-fractures in my foot.I was in a boot for a little bit, but I had to get back to Woodlands Elite tryouts. A little pain wasn’t going to keep me from my goals.”
While cheerleaders seem to be all smiles and rah-rah, these girls are focused, motivated and mentally-tough, and two of the best in the country are proud to call Legacy Prep ChristianAcademy home.