‘Cheer’: What Does Coronavirus Mean for the Daytona National Championship and Navarro Cheerleaders?
A few months ago, we were introduced to the world of Navarro College and their cheerleaders through Netflix’s show Cheer. By the end of the season, everyone was invested in Navarro’s journey to the Daytona National Championship and who made mat (who got to compete at Daytona.)
The cheerleaders work the entire year for less than ten minutes on that stage in Daytona, but this year that won’t be happening.
Will Daytona still go on?
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread at an increasing rate, government officials and business owners are shutting big social gatherings down left and right. Daytona unfortunately now falls into the category of canceled events.
On Mar. 15, Varsity Spirit announced that all of their events for the next eight weeks would be canceled.
“As you may have seen, the CDC announced their recommendation to cancel or postpone events with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks,” the apparel company’s statement read. “With that recommendation, Varsity Spirit has made the decision to not proceed as planned with scheduled events for at least the next eight weeks. We are actively exploring all options, including rescheduling events, extending the event season, and hosting virtual events.”
“We are hopeful this situation will improve, and we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation. We will continue to update you with more information as soon as it’s available.”
On Mar. 16, the statement was updated to include that Varsity Spirit would not be holding any events with more than 10 people for the next 15 days.
The Navarro cheerleaders react
The members of the Navarro cheerleading team were obviously sad to hear about the cancelation and lose their ability to compete this year.
“This isn’t goodbye Navarro 2020, it’s see you later. Daytona you will be missed and greatly appreciated,” La’Darius Marshall wrote on Instagram after the news broke. “I love everyone one of my teammates and all the love we shared.”
Unfortunately for Marshall, this event would have been the last one in his cheerleading career.
“The end of my cheerleading career has come a bit early,” he continued. “For everyone who supported me all this way I want to say thank you and I love you. I’m heartbroken for my team and coaches. Long live the bright light we all shared together and the countless fullouts we have done to get ready for this competition. I never got to say goodbye to my brothers and sisters but I know we all love each other dearly. To the rest of the world I love you guys and thank you for being our #1 supporters. We love you FIOFMU.”
Shannon Woolsey also expressed her dismay at the turn of events on Instagram.
“As I’m typing this with uncontrollable tears running down my face, I can’t help but think about how bad I just want one more performance with Navarro cheer,” she wrote. “The amount of love I have for this program is indescribable. I never could have imagined the season ending like this. Thanking this program extremely for shaping me into the person I am today, and for being my home away from home. I am so so grateful for every single experience I got to be a part of in the past 3 years. I would never trade any of it for the world. I can’t wrap my head around Daytona being canceled and the season ending way too early, but college cheerleading you did me extremely well & I will miss you more than anything.”