By Cabria Kirby
The sport that has never quite gotten the respect it deserves. Cheerleading. Cheerleaders constantly work hard in silence to prove the amount of athleticism needed to be a cheerleader. Cheerleading is evolving and the Netflix docu-series “CHEER” tells the story.
The docu-series “CHEER” follows a junior college cheer team Navarro College from Corsicana Texas.
Under the direction of head coach, Monica Aldama the team has risen to the top year after year due to her intensity and demand for perfection. The team has won 14 National Championships since 2000, and we named Grand Champions from 2012 to 2018 at NCA National in Daytona, Florida. Kapena Kea and Andy Cosferent are both assistant coaches under Monica.
This series is the perfect representation of the evolving cheer industry. The cheer industry has been waiting for a show or accurate representation of what the athletes are actually doing and why this is very much so a sport. The show includes many famous coaches from all across the country speaking on cheerleading including Brad Habermel, Co-Owner of Cheer Athletics, Vonte Johnson, Head Coach at Trinity Valley.
Many collegiate programs have been grateful for this series because finally people who do not know anything about cheerleading are finding this interesting and see how much work goes into a competition season. Other collegiate programs are looking at this series wondering why it is not them…
Not every program will be highlighted. That does not mean a program is not well known or respected.
The UNLV Cheerleaders were truly inspired by this series on Netflix.
UNLV Cheer is a D1A Program from the University of Nevada Las Vegas that is constantly building and rising to make history. The UNLV Cheerleaders are led by leader, Alexandra White and Karley Hughes. Nationals season for the Rebels is from early December to mid January. Unlike Navarro College, the Rebels attend the UCA Nationals in Orlando, Florida. The Rebels earned their very first national title as a team in 2019. History was made. Then again, the Rebels headed to Florida and secured another national title this year.
The cheerleading world happens to be a very small world. Many teammates turn to coaches and coaches turn to athletes and sometimes there are athletes that also coach. Freshman flyer, Kamalani Newman was coached by Kapena Kea, assistant coach of Navarro. “It’s such an amazing feeling to know that you have been coached by one of the best coaches in the country, he has been nothing but helpful in my transition process to college cheerleading and i cannot thank him enough.”
Kama remembers being a base and always listening to Coach Kapena and now being a college athlete he was a primary reason in why she is at the level she is. She shared a special moment in which Coach Kapena wished the UNLV Cheerleaders good luck for UCA Nationals and that meant a lot to her.
The work ethic and grind never stops. Back to back national championships is never enough. Inspired by the docu-series the Rebels look to some day hop on the same track as Navarro College.