The Small Team That Could: Southwestern High School

Southwestern High School started competing at the National High School Cheerleading Championship back in the early 2000s with the hopes of making a name for themselves in cheerleading.

Like any program, the journey to the top is challenging and filled with ups and downs but on this day six years ago, Southwestern High School made history winning their first ever UCA Small Varsity National Championship. 

Since that memorable day in 2013, the program has been a must-watch team in the competitive division.


The Warriors took a short hiatus from the division last season, but they are back this weekend and stronger than ever.

After a zero-deduction routine in Prelims on Friday, Southwestern advanced straight through to Finals!

“We are so excited,” explained Head Coach Britani Shoemaker, “Our girls have had to work really hard and have had to overcome a lot of obstacles that have been thrown their way the last two seasons.  We are so proud to be back in Small Varsity!”

“The adversity we have faced has worked to make our program stronger.  It’s been so much fun this weekend not only for our current cheerleaders to experience the feeling of going straight through but also to hear from many alumni who are so proud of what this year’s team has accomplished.  For me personally, it means the struggle was worth it!  The only way we fail is to quit trying.   We’ve kept trying and it’s really paid off!”

The Somerset, Kentucky team now holds two UCA Small Varsity Dll National Championship titles and they are looking to grow their legacy even more with another solid routine in Finals.

“I don’t think I ever really knew just exactly what SWHS could and would accomplish until after our first win, all I knew is that each year I wanted to do a little bit better than the year before,” explained Shoemaker. “I knew I wanted to be one of those Kentucky teams that everyone knew about.  I’m so blessed that God gave us the girls to work for that dream and the resources we needed to accomplish that.”

[WATCH] Southwestern's 2019 Prelims Routine

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More than 100 of the nation’s best high school teams started out the weekend in the Small Varsity Divisions but only 34 remain this morning in Finals. With a max of only 12 athletes on the mat, there is no room for error in such a competitive division. To be able to compete amongst so much talent is a humbling honor for all of the Finalists.

“I will always say Small Dll is one of the most exciting divisions at UCA Nationals!  The talent is always pushing to the next level and the competition is fierce!  Getting to compete with all of the teams in Small Varsity Finals is an honor!”

Tune in to cheer on the Warriors today in Small Varsity Dll Finals at 11:20 AM ET in the HP Field House!


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