Blinn cheer and dance teams honored with 2018 national championship rings

The Blinn College cheer and dance teams each received their 2018 national championship rings in front of the home crowd Saturday night at Cub Stadium in Brenham.

"It is an exciting moment for the sophomores to receive their rings and nice for the freshmen to see what we strive for in our Blinn College cheer and dance programs," said Sarah Barland Flisowski, spirit coordinator and head dance coach.

The cheerleaders received their National Cheerleaders Association championship rings prior to the Buccaneers' game against Navarro College, while the dance team received their National Dance Alliance championship rings at halftime.

"It is something that we worked so hard and it is nice to experience it all together," Brewster said. "The things that we have been able to do here have been amazing."

Blinn cheer made history as the first team to win five consecutive national championships in Small Coed Division II. Blinn took first place with a score of 95.10 over second-place Lindenwood University (93.50) and third-place University of Central Oklahoma (92.43).

Blinn College won its title with a cheer routine in honor of Jarred Pecina, a Blinn College cheerleader who passed away in January. The Buccaneers honored Pecina in the cheer routine by wearing "JF5" wristbands and bows. Next Step Cheer created a custom tribute track including several JF5 vocals and a moment of silence before their jump section.

"This ring is an accomplishment that I finally get to wear. It is surreal because of everything that we went through to earn it," sophomore Marcus Rias said. "The push from losing our teammate this year is what gave us the drive to win a national championship. We had someone watching us from above and we wanted to do it for him."

The Blinn dance team earned its first national title in Junior College Dance Team Performance with a score of 9.192 over second-place Riverside City College (9.188) and third-place Iowa Central Community College (8.836).

"Blinn is known for winning championships and to get my own ring is very exciting," sophomore Briana Burton said. "I love the ring ceremony because it congratulates cheer and dance for all the hard work that they put into nationals and it is the school's way of showing that they appreciate us."

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.