(Posted Jan. 10, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Six cheerleaders from Madison-Plains Local Schools started the new year in a unique way, performing in the pre-game show at the 77th Annual Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Those who performed are: seniors, Shyanne Miller, Hailey Travis, and Crystal Weimer; freshmen, Olivia Geyman and Brooklyn Randles; and eighth-grader, Cailyn Travis.
The girls earned the opportunity to cheer at the Citrus Bowl by performing well at a two-day camp held last August at Madison-Plains High School. The United Cheer Association (UCA) hosted the camp. Participants who earned all-American status or whose squad earned a superior rating were eligible for the Florida trip. Several Madison-Plains cheerleaders were named all-American, and the squad earned a superior rating.
The Madison-Plains students who qualified and decided to go on the trip joined 500 other school-age performers from around the country for three days of practices and sightseeing before the performance on game day, Jan. 2. The huge group took the field to perform a four-minute dance routine after the Purdue University and Louisiana State University marching bands performed.
Following the routine, the group stayed on the field for the National Anthem and a presentation by bowl sponsor, Cheez-It. The Madison-Plains contingent was stationed in the front row between the 20- and 30-yard lines.
This marked the second time Hailey Travis and Shyanne Miller have performed at the Citrus Bowl.
“I feel blessed that I was given the opportunity to go back to the Citrus Bowl this year and experience it with not only my younger sister, Cailyn, but also my fellow cheer sisters,” Hailey said. “We had an amazing time meeting other athletes from around the country.”
Shyanne called the adventure a “trip of a lifetime.”
“I will always be thankful to the UCA program for allowing smalltown cheerleaders to have such an amazing opportunity,” she said.
Crystal Weimer echoed her fellow seniors’ comments, saying she appreciated the chance to meet new people. She described the experience as “unique” and “exciting.”
The Madison-Plains group as a whole said it was an honor to represent their community. In addition to thanking UCA, they thanked their coaches at Madison-Plains—Ashley Cooper, Trisha Geyman, and Kristina Steidl–for bringing the UCA camp to Madison-Plains.