Springfield, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Mach 5 cheer team is headed to Worlds in Orlando. They will compete against 450 teams from 132 countries for the title of the best cheer squad in the world. The team had one final run-through on Tuesday night before heading to the big event.
Mach 5 punched it’s ticket to the prestigious event by finishing in sixth place out of 350 teams at the qualifier in New Orleans. It has been six years since a senior Mach 5 team has made it all the way to this point. Head coach Doug Lutz is proud to see the hard work and dedication of his team paying off.
“It’s a big deal,” said Lutz. “The kids have worked very hard all year, some of them have been with us 10 or 12 years working to get to this point.”
The levels of experience vary greatly on the team, with some members being in their first year and others beyond their tenth year.
Mitch White and Chance Hasten are two first year members. The might be relatively new to the squad, but they have put in the work to help the team get to this stage.
“Most of the team is here almost every day to practice,” said Hasten. “Four hours a week is mandatory, but a lot of people will get ten hours or more. The gym is always open.”
White is also a football player. It is a major time commitment for him to participate in both activities, but he says that it is well worth it.
“It’s honestly really difficult, but it is worth it,” said White. “This team became my family, they were all really accepting and it’s an awesome experience.”
The outside linebacker and wide receiver explained that Mach 5 has helped him on the football field.
“This makes me more flexible and agile, everything good for football,” said White.
Third year member Angelo Corsolini is looking forward seeing new competition at Worlds.
“We are really excited for the opportunity to go and meet other teams in bigger gyms than ours,” said Corsolini.
Justice Lyon has been putting in the work to get to this point her whole life.
“I’ve been cheering since my freshman year, but I’ve been tumbling since I was two years old,” said Lyon.
Lyon is also a multi-sport athlete, competing in both soccer and track when she is not cheering. She knows that Worlds will be intense, but she has confidence in her squad.
“It’s going to be nerve racking because we have never performed in front of such a big crowd, but I think we will do good,” said Lyon.
As the daughter of coach Lutz, Regan Lutz has been surrounded by the sport her entire life. In addition to this, she has cheered with the same team members for as long as she can remember.
“I was raised in a gym,” said Regan. “I’ve been cheering with many people on the team since I was five years old.”
No matter how they fare, the coaches, parents and members of Mach 5 are proud and excited to represent Southwest Missouri in Orlando.
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