Thunder Ridge Grizzlies Striving For Perfection

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Thunder Ridge High School went down to Orlando in February with the expectation that they were going to fight to earn their spot as one of the nation’s top coed cheerleading teams. Maybe only they knew what they were capable of, as they surprisingly stormed in to seize second place in Medium Varsity Coed at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship, as well as the top spot in the World School Cheerleading Championships.

The historical finishes catapulted this strong program into a new level of spotlight, standards, and belief. It was a Nationals trip filled with hard-earned success for the Grizzlies, and one they hope to build on this season. 

[WATCH] Thunder Ridge High School - NHSCC 2019

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One of the most impressive and endearing aspects of the Thunder Ridge team dynamic that we saw immediately was the incredible bond that they share with each other. There is a genuine commodore between the athletes, as well as with their coach, Mandy Martinez. As they were preparing to head backstage for their performance at the 2019 UCA & UDA Mile High Championship, there was a moment of genuine sadness when the athletes were separated from their coach. One of the male athletes even joking reached back and yelled “I’m lost without you, coach!” causing the whole team to chuckle and ease tension leading into their performance.

As we spoke more with Martinez about the team, it was evident that this is a team that is built on a foundation of far more than just athletic success.

With just six new athletes on the team this season, the Grizzlies are set to make a serious run at nationals again in 2020, which is something that they have their sights firmly set upon. While they know that previous success guarantees nothing, 2019 has helped them to believe that they can go all the way if they can put it all together.

Martinez noted, “we try to focus on the ‘new year new team’ mentality, but they are hungry. They are striving for consistency with the long-term goal of having that at Nationals”.  

[WATCH] Thunder Ridge High School - Mile High 2019

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Even with the impressive finish in 2019, the returning athletes know that they can do even more and be even better than they were. “They know that they weren’t perfect in finals this last year at Nationals, so they’re working super hard to make sure that they don’t do that again”, Martinez added.

The Grizzlies will be looking to show off their upgraded routine this season with newfound confidence.

“They are very proud of what they were able to do [last season] and they’re excited to know that ‘oh, we can be in the game and in the conversation’, which has given them confidence,” explained Martinez.

She made it clear that the belief that they belong at the top at Nationals has been one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle to continuing and building more success this season and beyond. 

Be sure the check out Thunder Ridge as they strive to reach their perfect ending by the time UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship rolls around in early 2020.

Watch for their strong standing tumbling, demanding coed stunts, strong coed pyramid elements, and high-flying basket tosses that make the crowd gasp.  

With their strong team bond and a belief that they deserve to reach the top, the Grizzlies will be looking to have yet another history-making season.


Written By: Thomas Parrott


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