JJC Competitive Cheer Places Second in NCA College Nationals Debut

The Joliet Junior College competitive cheerleading team is bringing home hardware in their inaugural season.

The Wolves earned a second-place finish during the 2024 NCA and NDA College Nationals competition in Daytona, Florida. Competing in the Intermediate All Girl Junior College category, the Wolves earned a final event score of 83.8241.

"We feel proud of the journey that the team has taken starting with a brand new program and a brand new group of athletes that we had to pull together relatively quickly to put into this competitive arena," Wolves coach Tiffany Scholle said. "They showed a great amount of poise going through the process and had, obviously, the skills to perform well."

The Wolves entered their final day atop the standings in the category after a strong performance in their preliminary routine.

"We knew that they were going to do well and we were hopeful that they would be able to finish first," Scholle said. "We didn't do quite as well as we did on day one, and I think that's a huge testament to the fact that we are a newer program. We've got to continue getting them experiences where they are in a big arena, competing and trying to build their confidence."

This was the first season for competitive cheerleading at JJC. Scholle believes her team's success at the national level sets a high standard for the program as it continues to grow.

"It basically sets us up to be highly competitive and in the mix for top in the nation year over year," she said. "If this is what we are able to do after just one season, now that we know we're going to maintain a core group of athletes and keep adding to them — it's a very high trajectory for us moving forward."

Scholle credited two of her student-athletes for helping set the standard for the team: Julia Ham and Ariana Montemayor.

On Ham, she said, "She's one who leads by example; she's the first on the mat ready to go and do something, and the last one there. She has a tremendous work ethic and just kind of exudes that standard for everyone around her and is also able to verbalize and encourage them to follow along the same path."

On Montemayor, she said, "She's got unbelievable skills and a great presence as a performer. She is kind of like our energy driver for the team — she knows how to rally the girls and make sure they stay focused on the task at hand. She doesn't just talk the talk but she walks the walk as well."

Riverside City College won first place in the category with an event score of 87.2292 while Eastern Florida State College finished third with 78.9976. 

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