Netflix released “Cheer” a documentary following the nationally ranked Navarro College cheer team from Corsicana, Texas in January 2020 portraying the sport in a realistic light that many viewers found themselves watching during quaratine.
California Baptist University’s cheer team is a seven-time national champion team who has seen Navarro College compete at nationals. Even though CBU does not compete against Navarro College because CBU competes in the All-Girl division and Navarro competes in Co-ed, head coach Olivia Miller said she commends their program.
“Navarro is an incredibly talented cheer program,” Miller said. “They have consistently brought impressive routines to Nationals for years and have created quite a legacy. If you’re at NCA (National Collegiate Association) College Nationals, you don’t miss the TVCC (Trinity Valley Community College) and Navarro routines—it’s always a fan-favorite rivalry to watch.”
Cheerleader Sierra Carlin, first-year graduate student in education, said she believes the “Cheer” documentary spoke into the lives of the team and the work that goes into competitive cheerleading in efforts to eliminate misconceptions about the sport.
“Obviously one of the biggest misconceptions is that cheer isn’t a sport,” Carlin said. “This comes from the thought of a cheerleader just being the girls in uniforms that shake their pom-poms and cheer for other teams. Although that is a part of our sport and is definitely something we love to do, it is so much more. It takes serious resilience and drives to do half of the stuff we do, and I really like that the documentary showed a little behind-the-scenes of that and what cheer truly looks like in all aspects.”
Madison Corsello, cheerleader and senior communications major, understands the pressures of being on a popular competitive cheer team because of her time spent with California Allstars Smoed from 2011-2017. AwesomenessTV created a show similar to “Cheer” that centered around Smoed. Corsello became a public figure who young girls looked up to and would watch compete every week, giving her a unique understanding of what the Navarro cheerleaders go through.
“I definitely relate to many of the athletes in the show ‘Cheer’,” Corsello said. “I understand what it is like to be a member of a high-caliber team and constantly have eyes on you. It is a lot of pressure and can sometimes be overwhelming, but knowing that you’re the best and that you worked as hard as you possibly could all season to win the titles you dream of makes everything worth it.”
CBU cheer is one of the most successful athletic programs in competitive cheer. Due to COVID-19, cheer does not have any competitions this fall but is still practicing to prepare for competitions when their season resumes.