PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast will be sending two squads to the UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship this weekend in Orlando, Florida.
The event will take place at Walt Disney World's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday and Sunday, with the Cheer team and Perkettes headed south on Thursday. They'll do so after presenting a showcase at the Weathers-Wentzell Center on the Perkinston Campus on Wednesday night.
The Gulf Coast teams will present their performance routines and be joined by four high school cheer teams who will also be headed to Orlando. Two of those teams are state champions. The event starts at 7 p.m., and admission is $5.
The Cheer team takes the stage for the first time Saturday at 10:10 a.m. ET. They are performing in the Small Coed Division II division, with 16 teams competing in the semifinals. They are the eighth team in that classification to perform, and the finalists will be announced about 90 minutes later.
The finals, which include the top nine teams, will start at 3:30 p.m. ET. Nobles said the last 10 days have been great, and their goal is to turn in a performance without any deductions to leave it all in the hands of the judges.
"It's been a great year," Nobles said. "This is absolutely the best team we've had since we started competing. They are a team. We don't have any individuals. They have worked as a team this year. That's made all the difference."
The Perkettes will be competing in two categories in their second year of competition at nationals. They'll be in the hip hop category, in addition to jazz, which they participated in last year.
"It's a super hard-working team," Gulf Coast coach Britney Patten said. "This team is hungry, and they're putting everything into every day. They're really eating, sleeping and breathing these routines. If any team deserves to win, it's definitely them. They've put in so much work and sacrificed family time over the holidays. It's really showing."
The Perkettes will be in the Open Jazz "B" semifinals at 10:58 a.m. ET and the Open Hip Hop semifinals at 1:39 p.m. The finals will be Sunday.
The events will be streamed at https://tv.varsity.com/events/6526047-2020-uca-uda-college-cheerleading-dance-team-national-championship. A subscription is required to view.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College