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Palomar Cheerleaders Gear Up for Competition After Six-Years On The Sidelines

SAN MARCOS — Palomar College’s Cheer team is about to head to their first competition since 2018 with an energized and confident team.

The Cheer team at Palomar has a long and proud history of cheering on the Comets throughout the school’s history. And now they are working on getting back into competing against other cheer teams.

Being led by Coach Stephanie Neptune Reed, the team is going to their first competition, USA Nationals, on Feb. 17 in Anaheim.

“I think the fact that we get to go is the big kicker this year, so they want to look good, they want to represent the school well. And Palomar has a really long history and tradition of cheerleading here, with really great athletes that have come before them, so they just want to make everyone proud,” said Coach Reed in an interview with The Telescope.

The energy in the team is high, as everyone is locked in and ready to give it their all on the mats. Even with the nerves of some of the cheerleaders being high, they’re not letting it show as they practice their formations.

A line of cheerleaders wearing white and red uniforms pose with their red pom poms in the air.
Palomar College Cheerleaders practicing their band cheer routine inside the Dome a day before their competition.

“You can feel that nervous energy, but yeah we’re all really excited and really proud to be on that floor tomorrow… We are so bonded as a team that we lift each other up,” said sophomore Kassidy Ewig.

Palomar’s cheer team will be competing against 12 other teams at USA Nationals, so feeling nervous is only natural. And especially after Palomar not competing for over six years, there’s definitely pressure to be felt going into this competition.

“I think it’s really exciting. We did just have one girl throw up because she was a little nervous, but it was like good excitement… But I think we’re all ready. We’ve done a lot of team bonding and we’re really really close, so I think no matter what happens out there we have each other’s backs,” Jasmine Turrubiartes said at the team’s last practice before the competition.

Confidence between the flyers and their bases and backspots is so high that during some of their practices the cheerleaders don’t even use the mats. And even during their practices, the cheerleaders bring the same high energy they have during games.

“I feel like it’s really picking up, and it’s definitely starting to hit some of us. I feel like we’re hopefully going to bring that energy to the other teams as well,” said Alexis Mateko.

Coach Reed sits in her custom red rocking chair wearing a beanie and a face mask during a cheer practice.
Coach Reed talks her cheerleaders through their quick stunt during a practice inside the Dome.

The team knows what it’s going to take to perform well at games and at competitions. The cheerleaders show up on time to every practice three days a week, and put in 100% to get to where they want to be.

“I’m feeling really good. We’ve been practicing this for almost a month now, and we’ve just been making big and small changes. We’ve all put in so much work to it and I feel really confident going into tomorrow. I’m excited. I’m nervous but I’m excited,” said Bailey Todd.

In a routine that only lasts for one minute, the cheerleaders have to bring high energy for their formations, quick stunts, and crowd interaction.

And with so much experience between all of the cheerleaders and all of the expertise that Coach Reed brings to the team, they know they can rely on each other.

“This is a really good stepping stone for us to be back in the competition world,” said Coach Reed.

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