Cheer ‘hits zero,’ becomes first Colton cheer squad to compete at CIF Regionals

Team places fourth in a field of seven teams in its first CIF showing since cheer was made an official CIF sport in 2017-2018


Leila Navarro

The team explodes into their routine.

Riverside, CA—On Saturday, January 21st Colton High’s competition cheer team became the first cheer squad in CHS history to compete at the CIF Southern Section Regional Championships. The event, held at Martin Luther King High in Riverside, hosted schools from across Southern California.

Colton’s cheer squad placed 4th in a field of 7 schools in the Division 3 Co-ed competition. The other schools in the field were first place winner La Habra High, second place Elsinore High, third place Santa Ana High, and Sultana, Claremont, and San Gorgonio High School.

Cheer performed this year’s routine introduced at December’s SHARP competition, adding in additional stunts, chants, and dance moves.

Freshman cheerleader Christian Jason was excited by the achievement. “I felt really accomplished because that was our first time at CIF,” he said. “And placing 4th is a milestone to higher placements in the future.”

The performance was a success for the Yellowjackets, who were proud to “hit zero,” a cheer term that indicates a team made zero mistakes in their routine. Judges’ scores are based on several factors, and points are deducted for errors including falling out of a stunt, or stepping off the competition mat. Colton received no deductions for their routine.

“I was beyond happy that we were able to do something that the other schools couldn’t achieve,” said junior cheerleader Denise Lupian. 

While this was Colton High’s first appearance at a CIF competition, for the team’s seniors, it would also be their last. The seniors’ last high school competition was an emotional time for every single team member. 

“I was really sad, seeing how strong the comp program has grown made me want to experience more years of it,” said team co-captain Denise Diaz. “Yet I’m content leaving, knowing the team is gonna continue to get even stronger over the next few years.”

Co-captain Jazmine Retamal agreed with that sentiment. “I felt sad, this being my last competition, because I won’t be able to compete with my teammates again,” she said.

Both captains wanted to leave incoming cheerleaders a message: “Enjoy every routine, camp, full out, and even bear crawl, because someday it’ll be your last one and you’re gonna want to do it all over again.” 

Competitive Cheer was classified as an official CIF sport for the 2017-2018 school year. 2023 marks the first year Colton High sent a team to the CIF competition.