The crowd can be heard roaring before you even step foot on the stage. You silently go over every little step and minute detail of the upcoming routine. Palms sweating, you clench your pom-poms a little tighter, look down and feel an enormous sense of pride as you see your uniform.
It's just another day in the life of the award-winning California All Stars cheerleading squad from San Marcos.
Last weekend, the Senior Level 4 Squad added yet another title -- Athletic National Champions -- to their already impressive record: After a long journey of exhausting practices and regional matches, the 20-member all-girl squad took first in the Spirit Sports competition in Palm Springs on March 27-28. That victory closely followed one earned by another California All Stars squad -- the Senior Coeds -- who bested the competition at the National Cheerleaders Association All Star Nationals in Dallas this past February.
With their supporters rooting them on, the girls beat out three other squads to secure their championship position.
"The parents are so involved," said Amanda Durant, the mother of one of the cheerleaders. "Crowd participation is worth 10 percent of the final score, so it really helps to have so much support from the families."
Success seems to come easily for the All Stars, no doubt because of the leadership provided by their coach Tannaz Emamjomeh Collier. Through her work on the cheer-tastic, spirit-fingered 2000 flick Bring It On and her development of new and innovative choreography, Collier has led her to victory time after time.