Michelle Bumbaca has been coaching sideline cheer for 15 seasons at Wilcox High School. This year, the longtime coach added duties as the CSC (Competitive Sport Cheer) head coach for a first-year program. The Wilcox team consisted of 25 girls competing in cheer in the BVAL (Blossom Valley Athletic League), as the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) did not have enough squads. Wilcox helped make up a six-team league in the BVAL. In their debut season, the Chargers squad went an impressive 4-2.
“There were six teams, Branham, Silver Creek, Sequoia, Prospect, Westmont and ourselves,” noted Bumbaca on the debut season. “Our first year and we went 4-2 in six games, a very successful first season, a winning season. We had a pretty good showing and I’m very excited about that.”
Wilcox eventually hopes to get a SCVAL league going, but for the near future will continue competing as part of the BVAL. While Bumbaca expressed disappointment in the BVAL wanting to schedule next season before having the chance to try and get more SCVAL schools involved, she is rightfully excited for her own program’s immediate future. This year, out of 25 girls she only had three seniors, so most of the team will return. Graduating this year are Kahealani Angervil, Natalie Loredo and Bella Standlee.
Almost half the squad will be seniors next year as the Chargers had 11 juniors on the roster this year. The experience gained in year one should certainly help the developing program have a strong year number two.
For those unfamiliar with how the sport works, the high school level CSC pits two teams against each other and each team has to memorize the same routines. There are different levels of routines to practice, and during the games, one of the teams will have possession and can choose which routine to perform. Some teams like Wilcox would often choose the level one routine, because they performed it at a higher level than their opponents. Whichever side performs the same routine better will be awarded a point and maintain possession.
“It was a fun year, we learned along the way. Six different levels of routines and our goal was to get one through four down and we did that,” beamed Bumbaca. “At one point, we went to level five, so we reached our goal and even a little bit past that. Number one routine is the most basic, and there is a lot of strategy as a coach picking which routine. My team got really good at number one, so I would call number one and we would win the majority of those because our technique was perfect, no mistakes, no bobbles, and the other teams couldn’t match our routine, so I would call that a lot.”
Bumbaca gave tons of credit to Wilcox Athletic Director Paul Rosa and Principal Kristin Gonzalez for helping get the team started. The school is hoping for more big things from CSC in year two of the program next spring.