Looking back at my past 8 years at NCA. You’d say 1-7 was a failure. But, I’d say the opposite.
I remember competing my first time 8 years ago, in 2009 in the junior level 4 division. NCA wasn’t as big as it is today, so I competed day one in the arena on a level four team. This year I was not at The Stingray Allstars. As we headed into day two on floor A we hit a routine, but unfortunately we ended up last place. Year number two was my first year at Stingrays and I was on Yellow, youth level 4. We were a strong team, we went undefeated except losing NCA. It was extremely close, but we still lost. Still not easy to be so close and not take home the jackets. Year three, I was on Spice and we were restricted 5. We won. Spice won big. This team brought the fight and showed the world that restricted 5 deserved to be a division. My next year I was on Platinum Junior 4, We did not do as well as we had hoped, but NCA brought the fight into the team to finish out the rest of the year strong. The next year I was back on Spice again and it was time to show the world who we really are, we might not have won, but we learned what it was like to truly enjoy a team and enjoy the routine each time on the floor. Next year I made the team of my dreams, Orange, we had just changed divisions and we were in Large Senior. We fought hard all season switching things in and out and it was defiantly a learning experience. We might have lost NCA, but we came back stronger for UCA and finished the year out with a World Championship. The following year, I was on Orange again and we competed at NCA. Things were not as we had hoped they’d be, we finished 4th.
Day 1, a stunt fall, not a “solid” routine and .9 holding you behind first place. You know you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Walking into the convention center with a little fire and something to prove. Warmups move along fast and things are going well. Confidence was not an issue today. Backstage the whole team is yelling and pumped up to put on a show. I remember walking on the floor with full confidence and having the biggest smile on my face. It’s about time to really nail an Orange routine. I remember looking to my opening basket saying “come on, we can do this.” Moving through the routine, everyone sticks their standing tumbling, we point to the orange section and the crowd is screaming. Double up: hit!! the crowd screams. The stunts are solid. We finished off the stunt with a double down and the crowd is roaring. The jumps are hyperextended and performed like we had done a million times in practice. The two mans are on time and Amber and Madi start out running tumbling strong, Lakyn picks up with a one and a half to double and from there on everything is together and we are all screaming. Angel comes out of the right corner ready to prove to the world she can do this and sticks her pass in a double and the crowd is jumping and we have never heard them scream like this. Moving to the baskets and pyramid we are smiling and truly enjoying what we are doing. Counting and taking things one step at a time we make it to the last picture of the pyramid. There it is, a zero deduction routine from The Orange Rays!!!!! A routine you haven’t seen in a while. In the dance, we are crying and hitting each motion on count. “THAT’S HOW YOU CRUSH IT.” Finishing with tears and falling on the floor everyone in the arena could tell Orange had their heart and soul out on the floor and that’s how we crushed it.
Sometimes the result isn’t what you had hoped, but in the end… You grew as a team, you did it, you did everything you could. A true “hit” routine like that was something you can’t truly describe you just had to feel it. Here’s to 8 years later and 1 NCA jacket, but more memories than I could even imagine. Each upset in the past led me to the final routine in the Arena, Sunday, February 21st, 2016 at 4:04 p.m. with Orange. I would never change that routine for anything.
To all the other Orange seniors, the rest of the team and our coaches, what a way to go out in finals at NCA. That feeling on the floor was better than any placement we could have received.
I wish you could love something as much as I love this team. Orange is more than I could imagine and I am so grateful to represent the Stingray Allstars every single day.
So thanks NCA, for the memories and the one routine I will truly never forget.
1-7 never looked so great.