San Luis Obispo's Central Coast Elite is full of competitive cheer teams that as of the last five years, have made a national name for themselves.
The Cheer Program Director, Aly Wenzel, and her Y2 Knockout team comprised of 10 to13-year-olds, are one of the top teams in the country thanks to their high-scoring routines and dedication.
“It's go, go, go and we get little sleep and it's difficult," Wenzel admitted.
"But it's fun and it's enjoyable,” athlete Natalie Wright added.
It’s been a five-year progression for the program to reach this level of success and it’s all paying off. One look inside the Central Coast Elite facility and the walls are splattered with 1st place banners and trophies representing the powerhouse that the program has become.
“It took a long time to be like a successful program," Wenzel said. "I feel like you have to have the right group of coaches. You have to have the right group of parents. You have to have the right group of athletes that are committed, dedicated and are ready to put in that work.”
For Y2 Knockout, Wenzel has all that and more to her pleasant surprise.
“They are surprising. They are full of energy. They love to work hard. They love to keep us on our toes.”
With four new members to the team including some who had never even done competitive cheer before, Y2 Knockout won the second largest competition of their season, the NCA All-Star National Championship back in February over in Dallas.
“When they called the score for the second place team, I knew that that wasn't our score and we had scored higher," Wenzel recalled. That's when I knew that we won and it was like chills and I'm just so excited and proud.“
Winning a trophy the size of some of the kids on the team is quite an accomplishment and with it, earned themselves a paid bid to the biggest cheer competition: the inaugural year of the Youth Summit Championship in Tampa, Florida.
“It's even more exciting because I've seen the older teams when they went the last couple of years and it just looked like they had the best time after they went on the floor," Wright explained. "I know that it's a really big deal and a cool experience being able to go to Florida with the team that I love.”
The team will take advantage of their paid bid when they head to the Youth Summit April 20-21.