VACAVILLE — Will C. Wood seniors Tori Anderson, Jordan Hancock, Cassidy Howard, Magaen Quillin and Carly Villa have been cheerleaders and friends since their freshman year.
This year, they’re going out together with a bang. The five senior leaders are heading Friday to New York to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the UCA Cheer and Spirit of America productions.
These girls were picked as the best of the best high school cheerleaders in the nation and will join about 1,200 junior and senior cheerleaders.
As if this weren’t exciting enough, the cheerleaders are the opening act of the parade. But these Will C. Wood students aren’t intimidated.
“We’re just excited,” Quillin said, smiling ear to ear.
Four of the five girls relaxed in the Will C. Wood quad on the eve of their trip. They have a long and busy road ahead — once they arrive in New York, they have eight-hour practices every day until the parade.
Two of the high school’s younger cheerleaders were also chosen to perform in prestigious nationwide events. Ninth-grader Natalie Kinney will perform at the pre-show at the Capital One Bowl in January, and ninth-grader Heavenly Ax will take part in Houston’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
While they’re keeping busy this holiday season, the students are used to it. Through Will C. Wood cheer, they take part in regular competitions and parades and have volunteered at Opportunity House, the Festival of Trees, Relay for Life and Wreaths Across America for Veterans buried at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery.
Cheer coach Starla Studer said she is so proud of her students’ accomplishments, from their community work to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“This is an awesome group,” she said.
Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.