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Carmichael Times

Something to Cheer About

Jan 30, 2024 02:58PM ● By Susan Maxwell Skinner, photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner

Del Campo cheerleaders recently hosted Regional cheer competitions at their Dewey Dr campus.

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Del Campo High School cheerleaders did not just host 40 competing teams for the recent Regionals at their Dewey Drive campus. The Fair Oaks/Carmichael teens also took second place in the Varsity Advanced Division and are eligible for National Cheer competitions in Anaheim, this February.

“I’ve been coaching this team since 2006 and we really took a hit during COVID,” says their leader Jen Houck-Mahoney. “I’m proud of how far we’ve rebuilt our performance in a short time.”

The blue and white-clad team is the pride of Del Campo (Go Cougars!). Aged from 14 to 17, its athletes also field the largest contingent in Carmichael’s Independence Day Parade. “They’re great kids,” says Houck-Mahoney. “Del Campo Cheer is a terrific stunt team, but they also love community events and giving back whenever they can.”

Convened by USA Cheer organization, the recent meet-up brought more than 600 teenagers to their school. “Our 23 girls (and one boy) made all the teams feel welcome at the event,” approves their leader.  “But their focus was to compete. They were high-energy and all-smiles all through their performance.

“We were narrowly beaten by a team from Orland High. Orland is amazing. It’s a very experienced competition team with many first places to its credit. We felt good to be in the company of that excellence.”

Del Campo Cheer also fielded team captains Jamisyn Lockard and Shayna Bendixen to march in Macy’s Thanksgiving pageant. “‘I’ve been sending my captains to the parade for ten years,” says Houck-Mahoney. “The event gives them experience with the best cheerleaders and choreographers in the nation. It’s also great for Carmichael kids to travel outside of their community and perform the world’s biggest City.”

Del Campo cheerleaders recently hosted Regional cheer competitions at their Dewey Dr campus.

The team was recently hard at work preparing for a winter rally on campus. The annual spectacle culminates with cheerleaders forming a human Christmas tree.

“It’s never easy to come back from a long period of no practice,” says their leader. “But I feel we’re 99 per cent back to pre-COVID standards.  That last one percent requires a shift in mind set; to treat themselves like the athletes they are. They’re not just cute kids in cute uniforms. They’re a great team with a great future.”