Blackman Cheerleading Competes for 10th National Title

Blackman cheer competing for 10th national title, Niki Lattarulo reports.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 5:19 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Blackman Highschool Cheerleading has won 16 TSSAA State Titles and 9 UCA National Titles since 2005.

On Friday, Feb. 10, the team will compete for a 10th National Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Walt Disney World.

Blackman competes with four boys and 16 girls in the small coed division at the Universal Cheerleading Association Highschool Championship which runs from Feb. 10 through Feb. 12.

This season the Blaze will compete in a stunt that has never been performed at the high school level, that a back handspring up to an immediate heal stretch. Something head coach Courtney Gregory said will help them stand out.

Gregory along with Heather Wortham has coached the Blaze for over 18 seasons together, leading the program to their first national title in 2010.

Thirteen years later they’re looking to bring home a tenth ring.

“It’s actually mind-blowing to me,” senior Olivia Cooner said. “There’s nothing like going to nationals. You’re in the back and it’s dark … your heart is racing and you’re so full of nerves.”

Half of this year’s team has never competed at high school nationals, which is an experience hard to duplicate in the practice gym or on the sidelines. “I heard that like when you look out you can’t even see one single person. It’s just the lights and the energy,” says Junior Addie Cobb who has never been on that nationals mat.

The Blaze has one of the most action-packed and elite routines that the program has ever competed in, which should equal a win if they hit (a phrase that means no stunt or tumbling falls).

“I mean knock on wood,” senior Dylan Winegar said. “We’re going to go out there and smack the routine, and put the crowd in shock with what we are going to do.”

Blackman High School will compete in the preliminary portion of the competition on Friday, Feb. 10. If they advance to the semi-finals or finals that will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11.