The coach of South River Youth Athletics’ (SRYA) cheer squad expected her team to wow the crowd at the Grand National Championship in Virginia Beach. What she didn’t expect was to come home with a Coach of the Year award from the event's sponsors, Cheer and Dance Extreme (CDE).
On Sunday, Beverly Goldbeck received the 2012 Recreation Coach of the Year award for her coaching of the 8U and 14U SRYA cheer squads. Goldbeck, also the SRYA cheer commissioner, was preparing her 14U team for their final performance at nationals when she heard the news.
“When I first found out I was awarded, I was in complete shock. I was unable to comprehend what just happened,” Goldbeck said. “My 14U team was up next to compete.”
The coach said she had been working with local parents to nominate all the SRYA cheer squads for Program of the Year, but little did she know that the parents were planning to nominate her for Coach of the Year. A cheerleader since age 5, Goldbeck said winning an award for coaching was never her goal but that her love of the job and the girls is what motivates her the most.
“If it wasn’t for all [the girls], I would not get to do the one thing I love the most—coaching cheerleading,” Goldbeck said. “I’m so glad I can now give back to the community and share my knowledge of cheer with the SRYA. [The squad] have exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
For months, the young women practiced and prepared for the Grand National Championship, and their hard work not only helped Goldbeck win the award, it enabled the girls to impress the judges in only their second year as a cheer squad.
Each team (in three age categories: 8U, 12U and 14U) finished in the top three of their group, and it was the 8U’s “mini-team” that took home first place, becoming a Recreation Level 1 Grand Champion.
“SRYA has existed for two years now and our cheer program went from 0-60,” said SRYA President Mike Sweeney. “The cheerleaders and their parents have made big sacrifices by sending them to practices and private tumbling classes since last fall.”
Following the award-winning performances by Goldbeck and her squad, the cheer coach said it wasn’t until hours after the competition that she realized the enormity of her team’s success.
“I was not surprised to hear that Beverly was awarded. She works hard for the girls. Winning that award is a great achievement and shows how dedicated she is to the cheerleaders, the sport and the organization,” Sweeney said.