There are a few high school sports dynasties in our area. Bolles swimming and St. Johns Country Day girls soccer jump right to mind.
But we should include the cheerleading program at West Nassau in that list.
Twelve times, the Warriors have won the state championship. No school has won more. Five times, West Nassau has earned the title of national champion.
And three times, they’ve been judged as the best in the world.
On Wednesday, fresh off another state championship, West Nassau Cheer loaded up the vans and headed to Orlando for the national and world championship competition. How have they been so dominant year after year?
“It’s something special out there, we definitely have a special group of kids, a special community,” said coach Sam Beazley, who cheered at West Nassau in her high school days. “Maybe there’s a little bit more pride, you know, that we do have from our community that I think that does drive us.”
Beazley gets emotional when talking about the impact the success of the cheerleading program has on young girls in the community.
“I fight back tears every competition just because my kids are coming forward and they’re fighting back tears and they’re looking out and they’re seeing little girls that are down there cheering them on remembering they were once those little girls,” Beazley said. “It just kind of puts into perspective for them how quickly time passes.”
The UCA national high school cheerleading championship is scheduled for Friday-Sunday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The chance to compete against cheerleading teams from outside of the United States makes a big impression on Beazley and her team.
“You have teams from Jamaica, and Japan and Canada,” Beazley said. “It’s crazy that no matter throughout all the different cultures that we have, like this is still just the one thing that connects all of us and I think that sometimes it even humbles us to look at how good we have it.”