This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of MemphiSport.
Each spring, hundreds of hopeful cheerleading squads assemble in Orlando, Fla. with routines mastered for the biggest competition in cheering. This year, the Memphis Elite Senior Black Co-Ed team, also known as the Black Smack, took home another championship in the team’s storied past.
“Words could not describe the feelings of winning a championship,” team captain Courtney Lindsey said. “My team and my coaches worked so hard and went through so much all year to prepare for Nationals.”
Lindsey’s team was competing in the UCA Nationals – a competition that features teams from across the country. The Memphis Elite team was up against ten other outstanding teams for the final championship.
“We wear our Nationals jackets with pride now because we know how hard we worked and how much we pushed ourselves,” Lindsey said.
Memphis Elite has a series of coaches that include Frankie Conklin, Chad Odle, Kasey Astor and Bowd Beal that help the teams get ready for the nationals competition.
The All-star squad was established in the fall of 1992, the first cheer and dance program of its kind in the Memphis area. The first dance team was launched after Sky-View Academy – where Conklin had been the long time cheer coach – closed. Tryouts for the team are ongoing during the months of March and April, and training for next season’s competition will begin immediately. There are currently more than 430 athletes in the Memphis Elite program.
Photo Courtesy of Memphis Elite