By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Despite all of the challenges the pandemic has brought, four Dallas ISD varsity cheerleaders have received one of the most prestigious honors in the history of the sport.

As Sunset High School’s Varsity Cheer Captain, worked to keep spirits high as practices and even the National Cheer Association’s annual summer camp were moved online.

Jourdyn Hawkins (credit: Dallas ISD)

“It was just really, really different, but it was really fun,” she said. “We enjoyed it. We got the same aspects of camp, just not the face to face part.”

The NCA is one of cheerleading’s oldest and most prestigious programs and every year after camp concludes, the All-American Team is announced.

The honor is given to those who display superior technical skills, leadership and personal values.

It’s something Hawkins has dreamed about achieving since 7th grade and this year, she watched from a computer screen as she and three others from her team were named.

They are the first in their school’s history to receive this honor.

Sunset High School’s Varsity Cheerleaders (credit: Dallas ISD)

“Everybody started screaming and my friend next to me was crying,” she said. “We were hugging and high-five-ing.”

“To be the first to do it, it’s amazing and it’s her senior year so that made it even better for her,” her mother said.

As the cheerleaders get ready to take the field once again, Hawkins said they wouldn’t have been able to accomplish so much without their coach.

They‘re all also enrolled in Dallas ISD’s P-TECH program, receiving tuition free college credit while still in high school.

“If you put 110% into it and you really believe in the methods that your coaches set for you can achieve any goal,” Sunset High School Cheer Director and Coach Natasha Mitchell said.

“For us, you know we’re minority students and most of the NCA All Americans didn’t looks like us and we wanted to set an example saying even if you are different you can do whatever you want to do,” she said. “We’re the first but we won’t be the last.”

On top making the NCA’s All-American Team, Hawkins has been selected to be part of the staff for next year’s camp.

She’s hoping to go on to continue her cheer career at Texas Tech and one day become a doctor.

Erin Jones