Sonoran Trails cheer wins State and National titles in first ‘combined’ middle schools season

Nationals crown is a first for Head Coach Michelle Wetzel’s squad

stms state champions
STMS – Cactus Shadows Head Cheer Coach Rika Cuff would be the first to tell you that her Lady Falcons’ six consecutive State Championships would not have been won without a talented “farm system”: that is, successful cheer programs at Desert Arroyo (gone, but not to be forgotten) and Sonoran Trails Middle Schools. In the first season since the merging of CCUSD-closed Desert Arroyo into Sonoran Trails, “Stingers” Head Coach Michelle Wetzel guided her team to State and National Championships in the same weekend!

On Friday, March 4, STMS Cheer won the Arizona State Pom and Cheer Tournament at (Phoenix) Veterans Memorial Coliseum, then bussed directly from The Coliseum to Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif., where on Sunday, March 6, they captured the USA Junior Nationals Championship, their first Nationals title.

At both State and Nationals, STMS took 1st in the All-Girls Stunt Division, with Sami G., Maddy G., Taylor M., Talia O. and Kameren W., the team’s Stunt performers.  (Sonoran News reluctantly honors the “last names” anonymity demanded of Coach Wetzel by a STMS Cheer father.)  

Coach Wetzel to Sonoran News: “We’re very proud of this team’s accomplishments.  Winning State and National titles the same weekend took a lot of focus and determination.  With the merging of DAMS and STMS Cheer squads, we really didn’t know what to expect this season; but these girls worked so hard to be the best. Through their effort and commitment, they more than made good on our team’s motto: One Team, One Family, One Heart!” 

Congratulations, Ladies! And to Coaches Wetzel and Emily Johnson.

stms national cheer champions
Courtesy photos by Timon Harper