Plateau Rebels claim national cheer championship

A state championship apparently wasn’t enough for the Plateau Rebels, a competitive cheer squad consisting of girls from 6 to 15 years of age. After taking top honors in Tacoma, the group headed for the bright lights of Las Vegas, where they captured the Jamz national championship.

Not bad for a program that has been in existence for a year, is strictly a nonprofit enterprise and is operated by volunteers.

In Las Vegas, the Plateau Rebels had 2 minutes and 30 seconds to impress the judges. The “non tumbling” team made the most of their one opportunity, performing in the arena at the Orleans Hotel and Casino. The group uses dance moves and stunts, all set to music, to separate themselves from the competition.

The 26 girls making up the Plateau Rebels come from Enumclaw, Buckley, Bonney Lake and Maple Valley. Melanie McNally — part of the coaching staff along with Patricia Kurtz, Carrie Crane and Brianna McMillen — said most of the girls had their start in the world of youth football and cheer organizations. Realizing that many were no longer interested in “sideline cheer” and wanted to compete instead, parents took the initiative and the Rebels were born, McNally said.

The squad practices twice a week in Enumclaw and performs occasionally at showcase events, but focus on major events like the Jamz state competition.

Earning the Jamz national title capped the Rebels’ season, but tryouts for the coming year are slated for this weekend – from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9-10, at the Enumclaw Expo Center.

Information about the team and the coming tryouts can be found on Facebook.

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