When Your Tribe Becomes Your Family #ThePowerOfCheer

857787_10101131677975190_1903475430_o.jpg

Southwestern's Britani Shoemaker is one of the top high school cheerleading coaches in the country. She has helped build the school's cheerleading program from the ground up and has coached the Warriors to two UCA Small Varsity National Championships.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/2YyX_UPuJQ/?taken-by=britaniann7" hide_caption="0"]
Shoemaker began cheering at Southern Middle School in 7th grade.

"At that point I really didn't have much of an idea of what cheer was about," Shoemaker explained. "But I had danced and tumbled all of my life so I thought I would give it a try!"

She fell in love with school spirit and went on to cheer all four years at Southwestern High School in Somerset, Kentucky. 

I loved cheering on my friends at their ballgames! I also loved being a part of a team and the idea of having a common goal and working together with a group of people to achieve it.
null
Britani Shoemaker poses for a picture at her high school football game with young girls who she would soon coach at SWHS.

When her senior year ended, she knew she wanted to become a coach and began assisting SWHS's current coach Mrs. Gover right away. Shoemaker danced at the University of Kentucky and drove home often to help with practices.

I took over way before I expected and became the head coach as a junior in college. I wanted Southwestern to be one of those Kentucky teams that everyone knew about. I knew we had the potential and I think just the chase of that dream got me hooked!
However, not everyone understood Shoemaker's love and passion for cheer. She got married in June of 2009 -- but soon after that the happiness started to fade, and she eventually separated from her husband. 

"I was very passionate about coaching cheer," she said. "It did take up a lot of my time and energy and it became and easy excuse to fight about. I think it is hard for people who aren't involved to understand how a group of people who aren't family by blood can mean so much to you! It's impossible to be successful in the cheer world and do it half way. I refused to give it my half effort. The time away from home and the passion that I had for cheerleading, my girls, and our program became a constant area of conflict in my marriage."

null
The 2011 SWHS seniors helped Shoemaker get through the hard times after her separation.

At one point during her separation, Shoemaker decided she wouldn't coach anymore.

"It didn't last long, because cheerleading wasn't really the root of the marriage problem but after that short time off, I knew that my faith and my girls were going to be what got me through that dark time," Shoemaker said.

I threw all of me into our Warrior Cheer program. My senior girls lived with me for about two weeks. They cooked dinner every night and made coming home to my new "husband-less house" doable.
nullShoemaker got he support from her athletes, physically and emotionally.

From that point on my determination to continue to take our program to the next level just exploded. And I was lucky enough to have a crew of girls that wanted that dream as bad as I did.
In 2012, Shoemaker's first nationals post-divorce, the Warriors placed fourth in Small Varsity Division II.

"The team worked and worked and worked to put together a routine that was unbeatable," explained Shoemaker. "The team challenged me to really become a better coach and we pushed each other. It was a constant and mutual effort to be great."

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/ndxzx4PuBI/?taken-by=britaniann7" hide_caption="0"]
In 2013, SWHS nailed their routine at Finals to win their first ever national championship. 

That hit and that win held so much more meaning for me than most people knew. It validated the time I had given and the sacrifices I had made and it helped me to believe in myself again. It made me believe in the power of cheer.

null Shoemaker embraces former coach Mrs. Gover after winning first UCA National Championship.


Be the first to know! Get breaking news, exclusive interviews, team features and more of your favorite content from FloCheer - delivered straight to your inbox.

Who Earned Worlds Bids At WSF Louisville?

BidWinnerArticleFLO.jpg

They say practice makes perfect and it rang true for the hard-earned Worlds bids this weekend at the 2017 WSF All Star Cheer & Dance Championship. 

MUST WATCH: TGLC Performs 3 Times This Weekend!

_DSC0259.JPG

In 139 days (approximately 4 months and 18 days) Top Gun Large Coed will be vying for the Cheerleading World title in Orlando, and we can’t tear our eyes away from their performances…

Tune In To Day 1 Of WSF!

tglc.jpg

The Cheer Athletics Cheetahs took home the title of The Cheer Alliance Grand Champion last night but the all star action keeps rolling today in the Bluegrass state. 

Don't Miss The Cheer Alliance Championship!

IMG_6689 (2).JPG

The Cheer Alliance kicks off today in Louisville, Kentucky, and this championship event is a first look at some of the top teams in the nation.

Cali Black Ops Ring In The Holiday Season

Breanna Morin Ops-2_preview.jpeg

The Cheer Alliance Championship takes place this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, but before the California All Stars Black Ops hit the road for their first competition, they celebrated their past season of success and their world championship with friends and family.

VOTE NOW: The 2017 Hometown Heroes Award presented by Quicken Loans

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 12.10.26 PM.png

Hometown Heroes -- an award to recognize the finest coaches in the country who make an impact in the community by changing high school-age athlete's lives for the better. Watch each video below, and don't forget to vote between now and December 8th to crown one coach the 2017 Hometown Hero. FloSports will award the top coach with a $25,000 cash prize on behalf of national mortgage lender Quicken Loans.

Everything We Loved From The Rockstar Cheer Showcase

IMG_8535.JPG

Rockstar Cheer held their 2017 Showcase this past weekend in Greenville, South Carolina, and FloCheer got an inside look at what you can expect from this program on the mat this season.

Top Moments From The 2017 Rockstar Cheer Showcase

IMG_8448.JPG

Beatles Routine Breakdown: What To Expect This Season

IMG_835212.jpg

The Rockstar Beatles are a powerhouse team in the medium coed division, and they're determined to make 2018 their golden year. As the Beatles get ready to debut their new routine today at the 2017 Rockstar Cheer Showcase, here is what you can expect to see on the mat.

Maryland Twisters Kicks Off Their 20th Season

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 11.33.10 AM.png

Before taking the mat to compete, the Maryland Twisters teams will showcase their routines for their friends and families at Show Place Arena on Sunday, December 3, at the 2017 Maryland Twisters Showcase.