KAYSVILLE -- Who cheers for the national champion Davis High cheer squad?
Their classmates, family, friends and coaches do after the Darts went to the United Spirit Association national competition two weekends ago and delivered on a flawless final performance to claim the the title.
Competing in the ultr-tough super varsity, all-girl, advanced division, Davis High advanced the finals in third place, and then turned it up a notch in the final round to earn the title.
"They really nailed the final routine," Davis High girls cheer coach Brooke Painter said. "We really peaked at the right time for the title."
And after the the victory, Painter said the squad fullfilled their final goal by taking a leap into the hotel swimming pool.
"This group squad doesn't create a lot drama. they spend a ton of time together, but it's working to pull together, to cheer each other on," she said. "It's really fun to be a part of."
The 26-member Davis team, consisting of five seniors, 11 juniors and 10 sophomores, finished third behind Syracuse and Fremont at region, then won the first-ever state competition in February.
Fremont and several other schools had already qualified for nationals. Fremont ended up seventh, with Pleasant Grove, leading after the semifinals, finishing third.
"As a coach, it's kind of the goal to have a team peak right before nationals. Last year, we peaked earlier and really didn't have the experience to handle that," Painter said.
"I could tell they were getting close (this year). At our parent preview night, just before leaving for Anaheim, they really were on," she said.
Sitting third going into the final round, Painter told the group to go out and have some fun.
They did. And with no penalties, they were able to easily earn the top score and the team title.
While cheerleading is not a UHSAA-sanctioned sport in the state, Top of Utah cheer squads cheer at most of the school teams' sporting events. The Davis group also has high scholastic and citizenship goals, and works together on several community service projects each year.
Painter said captain Bailey Carling and co-captain Hayley Hovey work hard to provide the leadership.
She also pointed to a pair of injured teammates -- Reagan Mills and Morgan Lawson -- who epitomize her squad's dedication.
"Here are a couple of girls who have to miss the competition because of torn ACLS, yet they are right there working to make us better," Painter said. "They were instrumental in encouraging the others, finding flaws and providing critique. It really has been so cool to watch."
The performance has drawn the attention of numerous college cheer coaches as well. Painter, who cheered in college, isn't surprised.
It's a great opportunity for them," she said.
Painter also credited choreographer Cameron Larsen, currently a cheerleader at BYU, and vice-principal Rich Firmage, the team adviser, with helping the Darts achieve their goal.
So, after posing for pictures following the competition, the girls huddled for their traditional school cheer -- "All for one, one for all, all for Davis High."
Then it was into the pool to fulfill their goal.
Painter is already busy at work, though, preparing for next year's team tryouts, which will begin Wednesday at school.