2017 Winners & Finalists

 Congratulations to the finalists for The Spirit Leader Awards, Sound of Spirit Marching
Band Award and Chorale Achievement Award, and a big round of applause for our
Spirit Leader Award winners! Learn more about this year’s winners and finalists below.

The remaining categories open Jan. 23 and close Feb. 13.
Finalists will be announced in March. See categories for details.

All finalists are invited to attend the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards Show
at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, FL on May 13, 2017.
Special hotel and Walt Disney World Resort ticket pricing is now available.

The marching band has become an All-American staple for school sporting events. This award will honor one marching band who brings talent, innovation and dedication to school events. Most importantly – this band lives for game night and eagerly takes on the responsibility of providing weekly entertainment to school fans.

Meet the finalists:

Coldwater High School | Coldwater, MI
The Coldwater High School Bands live and breathes for opportunities to perform.  They are not at one halftime show but EVERY half time show and have even traveled through blizzards to be there for their football team. They are the epitome of a “beloved small town marching band with huge heart and soul.”

Fort Walton Beach High School | Fort Walton Beach, FL
The Fort Walton Beach High School band “paints a portrait of motivation through vivid school colors and an amazing production of music.” The band is always ready to move students to their feet, and has a strong presence at a variety of school events.

McGill-Toolen Catholic High School | Mobile, AL
As one of Alabama’s oldest musical organizations, the McGill-Toolen band has a proud tradition of excellence. Their pride for their school exudes in their performances, which are beloved by the entire community.

Pace High School | Pace, FL
Over 200 students comprise the Pace High School marching band, and set the standard for excellence in their community. The band puts in over 300 hours outside of school, even practicing during sweltering Florida summers. They are considered a staple of Pace High School game night.

Park Vista High School | Lake Worth, FL
The Park Vista High School band in Lake Worth, Florida prides itself on fostering “creative freedom and absolute diligence to task.” The band is a family that strives to perform at a world-class level and consistently raise the bar for school and community performances.

Washington High School | Fremont, CA
The Washington High School band in Fremont, California is more than a talented group of students. They believe in lending a hand (or a tune) whenever and wherever possible. As the band grows larger each year, “the students teach a new generation of musicians the value of not only hard work but of caring for each other.”

The American School Spirit Awards, the premier award for cheerleading and dance teams, has officially joined the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards family as The Spirit Leader Awards. The Spirit Leader Awards will honor one cheer team and one dance team with an ongoing commitment to community service, outstanding school athletic support, creative spirit raising activities and strong academics.

Meet the winner and finalists:

*WINNER* Dover High School | Dover, OH 
At Dover High School in Ohio, the cheerleaders are more than athletes on the sidelines – they are staples of their community. The team believes in showing appreciation to all school stakeholders and serving as positive school representatives. The Dover cheerleaders get involved in a variety of initiatives, including the Little Tornado Reading Program, Dover’s “Fill a Bus” campaign for their local food pantry, and numerous charity walks and events. The cheerleaders even pioneered the school’s first hashtag, #WeAreDover. The Dover cheerleaders also serve as role models for inclusion of students with disabilities through their involvement with The Sparkle Effect. Dover’s Sparkle Effect team debuted this fall and has received rave reviews from students and staff alike.

Big Walnut High School | Sunbury, OH 
At Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, Ohio, the cheerleaders “strive to instill tradition, honor, commitment and pride in [their] teams and in each other.” The team collaborates with the school’s student section, the RAGE CAGE, and plays an integral role in Big Walnut’s homecoming festivities.

Copper Hills High School | Copper Hills, UT
At Copper Hills High School in Utah, the cheerleaders’ spirit is unmatched. The team is actively involved in the community and prides itself on creating an incredible game day atmosphere, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Assistant principal Glen Varga writes, “The cheer team deserves recognition, commendation and our sincerest gratitude for their commitment, hard work, resilience and spirit. They are beautiful in every way and make others feel the same.”

Hidalgo Early College High School | Hidalgo, TX
At Hidalgo Early College High School in Texas, the cheerleaders are both school and community leaders. This year, the team hosted their sixth annual Cancer Awareness Spirit Week and took part in the “Be Bold Be Bald” campaign, wearing bald caps in support of those battling cancer.

Kittatinny Regional High School | Newton, NJ 
The cheerleading team at Kittatinny Regional High School in New Jersey centers on unity. Their mission states, “If you see someone in trouble, you owe it to them, the team, yourself and the community at large to help them to the best of your ability.” The team carries this philosophy in everything they do, from game day traditions to volunteer service.

Pendleton Heights High School | Pendleton, IN
The cheerleading team at Pendleton Heights High School embodies integrity, respect and teamwork. The team is actively involved with Best Buddies, Susan G. Komen and local “Christmas in Pendleton” initiatives to provide for families in need. The team maintains high academic standards, with a third of the team acting as members of the National Beta Club.

The American School Spirit Awards, the premier award for cheerleading and dance teams, has officially joined the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards family as The Spirit Leader Awards. The Spirit Leader Awards will honor one cheer team and one dance team with an ongoing commitment to community service, outstanding school athletic support, creative spirit raising activities and strong academics.

Meet the winner and finalists:

*WINNER* Loyola Academy | Wilmette, IL
The Loyola Academy Ramblerettes really do it all. Academically, the team is above the 90th percentile of their school, with an overall GPA of 3.7. The team also makes a point of performing for as many sports as possible. They teamed up with their JV team to create the “Ramblerette Spirit Squad.” The squad creates locker signs, comes up with cheers and chants for every sport and honors senior athletes throughout the school year. The Ramblerettes are also very focused on bringing spirit to their community, and work year-round with Misericordia, a residential community for adults with disabilities.

Broken Arrow High School | Broken Arrow, OK
The Broken Arrow Tigettes in Oklahoma are deeply committed to community service. The Broken Arrow Neighbors food drive is the centerpiece of their volunteer calendar, and the team has historically raised over 3,000 pounds in donations. The team is full of well-rounded student athletes, who participate in numerous school clubs, including the Oklahoma Superintendent’s Advisory Council.

Cherokee Trail High School | Centennial, CO
The Cherokee Trail poms squad in Centennial, Colorado is focused on its mission of unifying numerous teams within the school. The teams work with as many different programs as possible to ensure that every team from football to cross country receives support and encouragement.

Eden Prairie High School | Eden Prairie, MN
At Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota, the pom squad’s mission is simple: to be legendary. The highly skilled and competitive team seamlessly weaves community involvement into their schedule. The team works with their local Children’s Hospital, the Special Olympics and nearby women and children’s shelters.

Lake Forest High School | Lake Forest, IL
“Hustle, hit, never quit.” That’s the motto of the Lake Forest High School pom team. The team always puts schoolwork first and maintains an impressive 4.8 GPA (on a 5.0 scale). The team’s 20 members are currently enrolled in 59 AP and honors courses, collectively. The dancers also team up with several different athletic programs within their school, including “Pucks and Poms,” an initiative designed to encourage attendance at hockey games.

Rock Canyon High School | Highlands Ranch, CO
The poms team from Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado perform year-round to ensure that all school sports and activities receive support. The team also embodies a spirit of giving and volunteers their time to over half a dozen community causes.

School chorale programs have the potential to add immense value to the high school experience. This award is for a chorale program that contributes to overall school atmosphere by providing high-quality performances to variety of school and community events. Most importantly, this chorale program should be a source of pride for students and the community alike.

Meet the finalists: 

Burlington High School | Burlington, WI
“Made entirely for the people, by the people.” That’s the motto of Burlington High School’s a cappella choir, which brings its talents to the community at dozens of events year-round.

Danville High School | Danville, IA
The show choir at Danville High School in Iowa has a rich history of exploring the world of musical theater, sacred music and traditional anthemic selections. They enjoy expanding the minds of their members and audiences through a vast repertoire of material, and perform at multiple concerts throughout the year.

Mount Carmel Academy | New Orleans, LA
The Mount Carmel Academy choir is, “more than a club. [They] are a close-knit family, a sisterhood, who shares a great love for music and desire to be a source of pride for [their] school and community.”

Somerville High School | Somerville, NJ
The Somerville High School chamber choir believes in bringing goodness and joy into their community through music. Every year, the choir teams up with a local school for students with disabilities to build friendships and host a concert for the community.

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic High School | Perryville, MO
The choir at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic High School in Missouri has become so popular that it has tripled in size the last few years. The group is eager to take on new challenges and performances, and fosters a welcoming environment for all students.