‘We’ve just been competing in her name,’ Valley Cheer Elite wins ‘2021 Cheerleader’s Choice All Star Insider’

Local News

PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Valley Cheer Elite (VCE) was awarded the People’s Choice Award and a top-five spot with Varsity‘s ‘2021 Cheerleader’s Choice All-Star Insider’ competition.

VCE owner, Alex Cano said the gym received two nominations into the competition from their community. From there, 400 gyms from across the nation competed for a top-five spot through online voting.

Cano said the winners were announced on Aug. 6 on Varsity’s website and live channel.

“The moment when it happened, it just means the world,” said Cano.

According to Cano, the prize package will include a small show on VarsityTV where Varsity will come to Pharr and record a competition, practice, and interviews.

Cano told ValleyCentral this win is more than just a prize package though. This competition gave their gym the opportunity to share the story behind the ‘Makenna Team.’

“Makenna is one of the teams. We had a tragedy a couple of years back and one of the things we’ve been doing is trying to keep her name alive,” said Cano.

VCE cheerleader, Kailey Wilson shared that their gym lost a cheerleader, Avery Makenna Ortiz in a car accident. And from that day forward, Wilson and her teammates have striven to honor Ortiz’s name with every performance.

Wilson added that when she found out her gym and Ortiz were recognized with this award “it felt like people cared for us and cared for the story. We’ve always cared about her and her name, but it was very touching to see that so many other people cared about her and her name and the way we represent her.”

The Ortiz family and VCE also commemorate Avery Ortiz through the Avery Makenna Memorial Scholarship.

The list of winners for the ‘2021 Cheerleader’s All-Star Insider’ can be found on Varsity’s website.

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