If you haven't sat down and watched the Netflix series Cheer, there is no better time to start than during the coronavirus lockdown of 2020. The show follows Navarro College's cheerleading team, which has won 14 national championships in its division since 2000 and captured five NCA Grand National Titles as the best collegiate cheer team in America. All that success came under the direction of "The Queen of Cheer," head coach Monica Aldama.
Aldama is a living legend. A native of Corsicana, Texas, where Navarro is located, and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she's built the premier destination for competitive cheerleaders from across the country. When discussing cheerleading history, Aldama is one of its pioneering figures. For a reference point, she is considered to be her sport's Nick Saban.
But in the midst of the COVID-19 spread and global pandemic, the National Cheerleaders Association's National College Cheer and Dance Championships were canceled for 2020, a similar and sad result to the NCAA's canceled winter and spring championships.
That means Navarro's cheerleaders, many of which will never cheer competitively again, won't get their one moment to shine. As you'd expect, Aldama was heartbroken and shared her feelings in an Instagram post.
Navarro Cheer Coach Monica Aldama on Lost Season
"I am heartbroken with the circumstances that the world is currently facing. We are in unprecedented times and everyone needs to take precautions for the safety of one another. Because of this pandemic, the Navarro Cheer team's season has come to an end. Sunday evening Varsity made a decision to cancel the NCA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, FL. This decision was inevitable as things have progressed and our country is in uncertain times. My heart, however, is breaking for the lost memories and the lost time with my beautiful team. I was not ready to say goodbye so quickly. I was not mentally prepared for the team to turn in uniforms, pack their things and leave town. I want to thank the kids for pouring everything they had into this entire year - for the late nights- the games- the community service- the holidays given up. They are fighters and have always given me 100%. Their routine was so beautiful and their work ethic was bar none. I have always been able to control the narrative and resort to plan B or C or even Z. For the first time in my life I had no control and my life has been a roller coaster over the past week. What I do know is that we will be back better than ever!!! "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
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Several members of the Navarro College cheer team who starred in Netflix's critically-acclaimed docuseries took to social media to voice their feelings as well.
Gabi Butler, LaDarius Marshall and Jerry Harris, three of the show's pivotal characters, were among them.
Another day, and another round of young athletes losing out on memories that should have lasted a lifetime. So thanks again, coronavirus. Thanks for stealing this time from us.
Stay safe and stay clean, everyone.
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