Dunbar Cheerleaders Represent at Nationals

This year, the Dunbar cheerleaders won the state, national and world titles during their season.

It took much hard work to get them there. Cheerleading tryouts were held last May, with conditioning taking place throughout the summer. Everyone was required to go to a cheer camp and two hour a day practices took place throughout the school year.

In addition to all this they cheered at home and away games for the football team and for both boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.

The team is led by head coaches Mrs. Donna Martin and Mr. Saleem Habash. Both have been very successful with the program for a very long time. Mrs. Martin won coach of the year at the state championship, and she has been with the team for 16 years. Mr. Habash coached the University of Kentucky cheerleaders where he won multiple national titles before he coached Dunbar.

“Our coach always told us, ‘the team that works the hardest is the team that wins’ and this year the team was full of hard workers,” said junior Meghan Shunk.
The team was led by senior captains Paula Jones, Brooke Barnes, Whitney Demarcus and Tristan Hawk.

The girls also made many goals and had high expectations for the season. Some of these goals included winning nationals and state with a good, clean routine, being the best they can be, becoming more of a team and making sure everyone stayed healthy.

“At the beginning of the year we kind of struggled to become more of a team and come together but we ended up figuring things out and doing awesome. I think we achieved our goals and so much more. We did this with hard work and dedication.” said senior Hawk. “I loved this team and working with everyone. I am so proud of what we accomplished.”

Many of these goals were met as Dunbar reclaimed their title at nationals by winning first place. The competition was held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Here, the cheerleaders competed against teams from all over the country.

“Winning Nationals was the best feeling in the world because we all worked so hard, for so long. It made all of the sacrifices we had to make for the team seem worth it. It was really exciting because you get to meet cheerleaders from all over the country who love you and look up to you just because you are a Dunbar cheerleader,” said junior Haley Baumgardner.

The cheerleaders also took home first place at the world competition. This is where they competed against teams from all over the world. It was also held in Orlando, Florida.

This year the state competition which was supposed to be before nationals and worlds, occurred after state because of snow days and bad weather. After winning at nationals and worlds, the girls said that state was no problem for Dunbar. They finished the season placing first, making Dunbar 15 time State Champions.

“It wasn’t as challenging to win state but it was still cool to get another state title,” said sophomore Maggie Smith.

Dunbar Cheerleading ended with yet another successful season leaving us with high hopes for next year.