By Michelle Myre
Valley Bugler Publisher
There are some achievements in life that will stay with you for all of your days. For the Toutle Lake High Cheer Squads (both Varsity and JV), The Big Banana is one of those memorable achievements.
Each year, the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) hosts a four day, three night cheer camp in Portland, Oregon. Cheer teams from all over the region gather to participate in grueling thirteen hour days, full of clinics, training and competitions.
Coach Tawne Sweet shared that this was her seventh year coaching, and attending this camp was a positive impact on her team.
“Each year, the kids are all talking about winning the Big Banana. It’s the award that really encompasses what it means to be a cheerleader: spirit, teamwork and positive attitude,” Sweet said.
Two Big Banana awards are given out each day, with a final Grand Big Banana on the last day, which the winning squad gets to keep for a full year, and place on display at their school.
In addition to winning the finale Big Banana, the team earned blue superior ribbons and a blue superior trophy. Morgan Sweet and Dean Gilbert were the two cheerleaders that made it into All American Cheer, an elite group of cheerleaders who travel to London to cheer in the New Years Day parade.
The Big Banana will be on display at Toutle Lake High School for this year.