Kubasaki, Zama end lengthy Far East cheer title droughts
Good things come to those who wait, the saying goes. In the case of Kubasaki and Zama high school cheerleading, it also meant coming up just short a year ago along with a dose of hard work to take that final step to a championship.
The Dragons came home from last week’s DODDS Pacific Far East cheer camp, clinic and competition with their first Division I team banner since 2005. The Trojans ended an even longer drought, capturing their first cheerleading team title of any kind since 1989.
The victories also came when both teams came up just short a season ago, Kubasaki losing out to Nile C. Kinnick and Zama to perennial D-II champion Robert D. Edgren.
“I was so overwhelmed with shock and happiness,” Zama junior and team captain Maegan White said. “Even though I was confident in my team that we could win, it was still such a great feeling of surprise when Zama was announced for the win.”
“We had to really dig deep this year and it paid off,” said Kubasaki senior and team captain Symone Best. “It seems like forever. I’m proud we were able to bring it back to Kubasaki.”
The two teams, along with Kadena, Kinnick, Seoul American and Guam in Division I and E.J. King, Edgren, Yokota and host Matthew C. Perry of Japan and South Korea’s Osan, Humphreys and Daegu, spent a week at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in the 16th renewal of the Far East cheer camp since it took on its current form in 2000.
The camp is co-sponsored by DODDS Pacific and the National Cheerleading Association, which provided professional instruction over the five-day event. Cheerleaders and their coaches techniques new to them, competing on the same stage against each other and meeting and getting to know their counterparts from different schools.