After spending the day with their families for the holidays, the Nowata cheerleaders packed their bags to depart for San Diego late Christmas night. A 24 hour drive was split in half, making the team stop in Phoenix, Arizona to stay overnight. After a firm eight hour sleep, they headed out to finish the drive. The girls and their parents arrived in San Diego on Sunday, December 27th. After getting settled into the Sheraton Hotel, all participants reported to a pavilion just outside the hotel to begin their first evening rehearsal. Twelve teams of dancers and cheerleaders from across the nation performed in this year’s Holiday Bowl. That is exactly 307 athletes.
The second day in San Diego consisted of a 7:30-11:30 am practice, followed by a free afternoon and evening, the group headed to Seaport Village, a waterfront shopping and dining complex located in downtown San Diego. When dinnertime rolled around, most were in shock at the prices of food. “$17.00 for a cheeseburger, $3.00 for a fountain drink and $8.00 for onion rings. That is almost three times as much as food costs in Oklahoma,” said Kacy Hicks.
Day three, all performers and their family loaded onto a charter bus for a day at Sea World. Everyone got to enjoy roller coasters and other rides, saw various sea animals and were treated with a tasty meal right before attending the Shamu Show. The night was topped off with a dance. Groups of people danced around and there were even a few dance battles. Cheerleader, Jordan Lewis said, “That was my favorite part about the day. I love going to dances.”
As game day approached , everyone was up bright and early preparing themselves for the Big Bay Balloon Parade which started downtown at ten o’clock Wednesday morning. The dancers performed a brief section of their dance that would be performed later on at the football game.
Getting closer to game time, the girls waited anxiously in the stands for halftime. “It was freezing, which made the time go by a lot slower, but it was worth the miserable wait. I will never forget that experience,” said freshman, Daley Selsor.
According to http://www.oregonlive.com/pac-12/index.ssf/2015/12/holiday_bowl_2015_live_scores_updates_and_tv_chann.html, there were 48,329 fans at the game this year.