SPOKANE, Wash. – North Central High School’s cheerleading team epitomizes hard work paying off.

Later in February, the team will become the first to represent Spokane Public Schools at the national cheer competition in California.

Coach Amanda Fuentes has spent most of her ten-year career as a cheerleading coach at North Central High School.

“A lot of people think it’s just throwing people up in the air…but…it’s all these little components that they can earn points for,” she said. “Even after a successful weekend of hitting your routine and thinking that you hit it the best that you could, I will re-watch the video a thousand times when I get home and I will find at least ten spots that we could have made better.”

Fuentes’s efforts do not go unnoticed.

“Coach Amanda will push you to your limits and then show you that you can go further,” said Taylor Wais, a senior at North Central High School.

“We would not have the skills that we have now if she wasn’t our coach. … She loves us a lot to put in the effort she does for our team,” junior Jackie Stone added.

Wais said her team’s appearance at nationals feels surreal.

“It’s going to be intense and it’s going to feel like all of the years added up to that,” she said. “I don’t think it will feel like the end, but it will definitely feel like something big.”

The cheerleading team, like the entire student body, pulls from many different socioeconomic backgrounds. Fuentes said some of her students could not afford the trip to nationals on their own.

As a result, the team members are fundraising as much as they are working to perfect their routines.

“This amazing opportunity certainly comes with a hefty bill, to travel and take a team down to California,” Fuentes said.

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You can donate to the team’s trip through a Facebook fundraising campaign.