There’s a whole lot of cheering going on at Fresno High School. The school’s first-ever competition cheer squad has landed a spot at nationals. And now they need the community to do a little ‘Go, team, go!” to help get them to the show.
Fresno High is a school with a lot of history. Established in 1889, it’s Fresno’s oldest high school and the only one that bears the city’s name. But in the more than 125-year history of the school, it has never had a cheer squad dedicated to competing, said pep and cheer director Jacqueline Ruiz. In that respect, the squad that Ruiz coaches is writing a new chapter in the school’s history. One highlighted by a first place finish at a regional competition in January, which qualified them for USA Nationals in Anaheim in March.
The team is excited about the unexpected success they’ve had in their first year. And with nationals just a few weeks away, they’re working hard to make sure they represent their school and their city well at the competition, putting in hours of practice early in the morning and on weekends. The chance at another win, and the little bit of “fame” that’s come from recent news coverage of their story, keeps the team motivated.
Now, the team is hoping the community will start cheering for them on their journey to nationals. They’ve started a GoFundMe page to raise $10,000 to cover registration costs, hotels, food, and transportation costs. Ruiz said the fundraising effort has allowed the squad to connect with Fresno High alumni, and they’ve raised about one quarter of their goal so far.
Here, a few members of the squad and coach Ruiz talk about the squad’s incredible first year, what they’re looking forward to at nationals, and how much the community’s support means to them.