The Luther Middle School Cheer team placed second in the USA Junior Nationals competition on Sunday, March 1, at Disney California Adventure theme park. Under the direction of Coach Jenifer Coderko, the cheer squad has placed first in three regional qualifying competitions held previously in the school year at Summit High School in Fontana, Elsinore High School and Temescal Canyon High School.
Last year, Luther Burbank Middle School Cheer won the top prize at the USA Junior Nationals competition.
After competing against five other teams with a near-perfect performance in the preliminaries at Junior Nationals, the Luther team was announced as a finalist, according to Gabriella Platten, speaking as a representative of the squad. They competed against two particularly tough teams.
The other five schools in Luther Cheer’s category were Leavitt Middle School from Las Vegas, NV, El Roble Intermediate School from Claremont, CA, Union Middle School from San Jose, CA, Saint Mary’s School from Aliso Viejo, CA and Canyon Lake Middle School from Lake Elsinore, CA.
Coderko, a Burbank High School cheerleader and 2008 graduate, has led the squad for the past five years.
“I am so proud of my girls for earning second place out of six teams at Junior Nationals,” commented Coderko. “This is only our third year going to Nationals and the team has already left its mark and shown other teams that Luther is a serious competitor.”
Eighth graders Christal Castro, Harmony Hendy, Kansas Klocki, Cassandra Orjuela, Sarah Pando, Kate Platten, Julia Terrano and Ally Torrance competed in their final USA Junior Nationals for the Luther Cheer squad. Team members also include Chloe Avila, Brooklin Bosco, Gia Corey, Alexandria DeVito, Jessica French, Angelina Joven, Lucinda Kelman, Shaylee Kelman, Connie McKeehan, Stephanie Miles, Grace Mokracek, Darby Nealis, Brianna Ortega, Melissa Ramos, Lindsay Reardon, Danielle Swaisgood and Sophia Terrano.