There were many bright spots throughout the competition at the 2019 UCA & UDA Mile High Championship. We saw routines from teams that wowed us, and we saw individuals step up to lead their teams in impressive fashion.
Perhaps none shined brighter than the performances by United Elite’s Jacob Wood. Each time he took the floor, he blew us away with his performance value and his passion on the mat. Every now and again, an athlete will stand out, and this weekend in Denver, it was Jacob’s turn.
Jacob has been cheering for United Elite in south Denver for six seasons. He started off in a rec tumbling class while his older sister was training with her high school team at the gym.
“I was just doing beginning tumbling, and ever since my first day, I just absolutely fell in love with the sport,” Jacob said.
Fast-forward six years, and Jacob has become a leader in the gym and an iconic member of his teams. It’s not difficult to spot him on the floor because he is always serving up some serious performance. The most impressive aspect of his performance, however, is how he leads his teams in each moment both on and off of the mat.
[WATCH] United Elite Junior Frostbit3
When we caught up with Jacob, he was sitting with his team at awards. With each passing moment, he was taking the opportunity to help guide his team to have superior sportsmanship, even when it wasn’t their division’s turn. His love for cheerleading clearly superseded being focused on what trophy his team would get in that session. He was making sure that every team from every gym was feeling the love when their name was called.
At just 14 years old, he is stepping into the sport as a goodwill ambassador that United Elite can be extremely proud of.
We asked him what his goal when he competes is, and his answer exuded with positivity.
“Whenever I am on the floor, I just want to be there for my [team], because I know they’re always there for me no matter what. I don’t care about winning because I have the best bonds with my teammates that I know I’ll have for the rest of my life.”
He made it clear that his love of cheer doesn’t come from first-place success, but instead, it comes from the joy of being on a team and experiencing the best parts of our sport.
Jacob wants to cheer at United Elite until he graduates, then his dream is to head down to Texas to be a part of some of his favorite teams.
“When I graduate, I want to be on Navarro College, and also be able to go to Cheer Athletics and be on Wildcats,” he told us with a big smile on his face. “And then, I want to coach forever.”
One of the biggest reasons it can be difficult to not only recruit males into cheerleading but to keep them invested long-term is because there can be a social stigma that creates pressure for teens already dealing with peer pressure or bullying. We asked Jacob what his advice would be for any guy that is considering trying cheerleading:
“I would tell anyone who wants to do cheerleading to just do it, no matter what anyone has to say. Do what your gut says. That’s what I did. I didn’t listen to anyone who told me it was just for girls because I just didn’t care. I did it because my heart was in it, and that’s what you have to do too.”
Without wavering, he continued to elaborate, with maturity beyond his years, about how life is too short to not pursue a passion. With genuine intent, he made it clear that cheerleading is for anyone, no matter what.
Jacob's team, United Elite Junior Frostbit3, which took home the title from the UCA & UDA Mile High Championship. If you get the chance, make sure to check out this talented athlete perform, because he will surely remind you why cheerleading is fun, and why most of us got into it in the first place.
Congrats to you, Jacob, and we wish you all of the success in the world in the future.
Written by Thomas Parrott