A group of 18 ninth and 10th graders have started their year at
the new Sobrato High School with a bang, as the Bulldog cheer squad
plus mascot have been selected to perform during the half-time show
of this season
’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
A group of 18 ninth and 10th graders have started their year at the new Sobrato High School with a bang, as the Bulldog cheer squad plus mascot have been selected to perform during the half-time show of this season’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

Last year, Live Oak High’s squad performed in the Pro Bowl,

The annual Pro Bowl event, which will be held next year on Feb. 13, 2005 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, pits the National Football Conference all-stars against the top players from the American Football Conference.

The Sobrato Spirit Team won the superior plaque and the unity award at the USA Cheer Camp at Cal State Stanislaus in early August.

The team’s coach, Ashley Miller, said the superior rating is the highest achievement a team can receive in the competition and qualifies a team for the Pro Bowl. The award is normally given to a varsity team.

Because Sobrato High opened its doors for the first time for freshmen and sophomore students on Aug. 24, the team has only been together for a short time.

Jasmine Rodriguez, a 9th grader on the squad, said she knew none of her teammates when they began practicing together, but now they have grown to be good friends.

“You become very close very quickly,” she said. Jasmine also talked about the support the squad receives from it’s coach, Ashley Miller.

“During the camp, as a part of the competition, they gave us a cheer that we had to perform after we added some things to it, and Ashley and Derek stayed up all night to put together the new cheer for us,” she said.

Derek Powers and Mark Sousa are the two males on the squad. Derek’s gymnastic ability contributed to his winning the varsity all star award at the camp.

Miller, who is a cheerleader herself at San Jose State University, said she enjoys working with the squad.

“They really work hard, and they’re fun to be with,” she said. “I’m just so excited we have this opportunity to go to the Pro Bowl.”

The squad will need some help from the community in order to get to Hawaii in January. With the help of their parents and coach, they are putting together fundraising ideas.

“The first thing we’re doing is with Scramblz, the new diner,” said Brittney Montez, a Sobrato 10th grader. “Scramblz is donating some of its profits to us.”

Parent Alisha Powers said the fundraiser was “very successful,” raising approximately $400 for the squad’s trip to the Pro Bowl. But more is needed; the trip will cost $900 per student, and there are 18 of them on the squad.

Overall, the cheerleaders and their chaperones estimate the cost at $40,000

Powers said the squad will be continuing fundraising efforts. It is also possible, she said, to sponsor a student.

Brittney seems optimistic that the squad will be able to raise the money for the trip. But after what they have already accomplished, fundraising may not be that intimidating.

“I knew some of the others before, but there were people I didn’t know, and it was just great how quickly we came together and became a team,” she said. “We knew we would have to practice a lot, and we were prepared for camp, but things started out sorta bad, we weren’t doing so well in the beginning. But then, everything just fell together, and we ended up getting invited to the Pro Bowl.”

Miller was surprised and pleased with her squad.

“This was an amazing achievement for a junior varsity team that has just been together for a short time,” she said. “The team was just formed in May, and we’ve been practicing hard throughout the summer. I had a feeling that the team would perform well at Cheer Camp, but honestly, I’m a bit overwhelmed at what the team achieved.”

To help the squad, donations can be made to: Ann Sobrato High School – Cheerleaders, 401 Burnett Ave., Morgan Hill 95037. The tax identification number is 56-2457988.

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