The writer Stephen King once pointed out what separates the talented from the successful is hard work. This is precisely why the Lady Cavalier Cheerleading Team performed in the Citrus Bowl and rang in the New Year at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
Coach Cheyenne Tobler said a squad of 10 were slated to perform at around 1:30 p.m. during the televised pregame show, other activities included the visit to the Resort. The 2018 Citrus Bowl was held on January 1 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida in a matchup of Top 25 teams and storied programs – LSU and Notre Dame. The bowl game typically features teams from the Big Ten and SEC. It started in 1947 as the “Tangerine Bowl” and has been a New Year’s Day staple since the 1986 season.
Cavaliers participating included Grayson Burnette, Allison Adams, Sydney Robinson, Emily Dixon, Talitha May, Catheryn Lineberry, Abi Dentry, Alexis Smith, Constence Carico and Danni Gravley. According to Tobler, the team earned its once-in-a-lifetime chance at a cheerleading camp (The Universal Cheerleaders/Dance Association summer instructional camp) at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“The Jayvees have performed at the Citrus Bowl before but I believe this is first time in quite a few years,” said Tobler, who has coached the team for three years. “The team qualified by earning a ticket (at the camp) to go. They are all pretty excited.”
Tobler finds herself in a position to not only be coach but travel guide, having performed at the Citrus Bowl in the past when the Lady Cavaliers squad was coached by Nicole Lyons. She said the camp was not only instructional, it required hard work by participants.
The effort has also been marked by more hard work raising funds so the Cavaliers could defray costs enough to participate. While the team didn’t hit its goal, Tobler said they were able to earn enough so parents paid approximately $200 per student to participate (the cost to attend was $12,000 each with bus travel set at $6,000) with the team beginning fundraising efforts in August). Tobler described a low point in the fundraising cycle where the team rallied after a disappointing bake sale. The groundwork for the rally was set by dedication to getting their routines correct. Tobler also gained new perspective from becoming the “mother” for the group, many of which will be traveling the farthest from Carroll they have in their lives.
“In high school you don’t think so much about being sure everything’s organized for bake sales (or leaving for Florida),” Tobler said. “What I’m doing now, it’s the different side of it. You don’t think about things like that when you are young.“
She said she has a very young team that works well together, and are always willing to work hard and “push through,” so they could learn a difficult routine. She said when the team first learned they had earned the honor they jumped up and down in excitement. Moments later when the excitement settled, they asked to make sure they heard correctly.
“I think the adrenaline has carried them through and reality hasn’t hit them yet,” Tobler said. “They have each other to get them through (if they thought of the trip as frightening). The team has worked so hard. They really came together when they needed to at the camp and it showed. It’s so important they know that hard work really paid off. “
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.