OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Going into the competition, the young women had one thing in mind: Winning a world title. When the contest was over, the squad members got what they deserved, the jackets that spell out clearly "World Champions".
Hali Saylor is the team captain.
"It's really an indescribable feeling. It's so surreal. We were all so happy that we won and it was amazing, the best feeling ever that I've ever felt," Saylor recalled.
That wasn't the only feeling, according to cheerleader Samantha Moeller.
"I felt like I was dreaming. It didn't feel real. It still hasn't sunk in actually but I was just bawling my eyes out," Moeller explained.
Winning a world title has led to new found appreciation and respect from classmates, and the community. Nicole Broussard is a member of the team.
"I think everyone is really proud of us right now and we've had a lot of supporters plus now we're looked at as real athletes that no one really expected from us so it's been a pretty good reaction so far," Broussard said.
The routines the girls displayed to the adoring crowds took years to perfect.
MaKenzie Davis is another team member.
"They're pretty difficult. We've gotten greater every year and I mean this is probably the year that we've done the most difficulty," Davis said.
If you think being a cheerleader is all fun and games, you'd better think again. You would not believe the amount of physical exertion and talent that winning a world championship really takes.
Kelly Pilger is the head coach.
"They work really hard. They practice every day for two hours a day. They have 30 minutes of conditioning a day. They tumble twice a week with tumble coaches so they work really hard," Pilger explained.
The proof is in the trophy. The hard work has paid off in a big way.
In addition to the first place world championship trophy, the cheerleaders also placed second in the U.C.A. National Cheerleading Competition.
Click here to watch the YouTube video featuring the competition.