DCCC Spirit Squad: Conquistadors bring home National Championship
In just his first year as the head coach of the new look Conquistador Spirit Squad, head coach Michael Brewster delivered on his promise to bring Dodge City Community College a national championship.
Coach Brewster's squad competed in the National Cheerleaders Association National Championships on April 8 and 9 in Daytona Beach, Florida, winning a national championship in the Advanced Small Coed Junior College Division.
The national championship is the first of any kind in competitive cheer for the Conquistador athletic department and the first national championship since 1998.
The Conquistadors finished with the highest advanced core score of all five of the small coed divisions. Their score of 96.3708 was the 5th highest advanced score of the entire competition which featured competitive cheer programs from every division of collegiate athletics.
After ending Day One of competition with a score of 23.9958, the Conquistadors were in first place by a mere 0.5333 points over perennial powerhouse Blinn College. Even with a slight lead, the Conquistadors needed to solidify their spot as national champions with an outstanding Day Two outing.
"In cheer, you will see and hear teams talk about 'hitting zero,' which means they perform a routine with zero deductions from mistakes," said head coach Michael Brewster. "In our final performance, our team hit zero ensuring that we would be crowned national champions. As soon as our performance ended, I knew, our kids knew and our fans knew that we had just won a National Championship."
The victory is the 10th national championship in coach Brewster's career, three as an athlete and seven as a coach, and comes at the expense of a Blinn squad where Brewster won six consecutive national championships in the Small College Coed Division from 2014-2019. Conquistadors' score was good enough to beat Brewster's former team by more than a 2.5-point margin.
"This was a total team and program effort," said Brewster. "I want to recognize four members that did everything for their teammates even though they would not have an opportunity to perform on the bandshell. Austin Mee, Madison Heitzman, Kamry Howard, and Ashleigh Musulin were alternates for the DCCC Cheer Team and their energy and mat talk for their teammates played a major role in this championship. I can 100% say we would not have had the success we did without our alternates filling in, supporting and committing to the goal! Another person that gets none of the credit but plays a bigger role than anyone knows is my wife, Nun Brewster.
"From her critique texts and motivation to the individual athletes, to words of confidence and calming when something is going wrong, she is there for them to ensure they are successful!"
For Conquistador athletic director Jake Ripple, the transformation of the program into a national champion contender was gradually recognized over the course of year one.
"I knew when we hired Michael that eventually we would win a national championship in cheer," said Ripple. "When the team first got here I thought we were going to be good and would have a good showing in Daytona, but I wasn't sold on them winning a championship in year one. As the year progressed and I watched the team grow together, I started thinking it was a possibility. Then before they left for Daytona, I told Michael I wanted a picture with the team because I felt pretty confident that they were going to be in the mix for a national championship. I am really proud of what coach Brewster and this excellent group of young men and women have accomplished."
While the success in year one is a remarkable feat, everyone in the Conquistador cheer program will say that it's time to move the goal post back in terms of what expectations are.
The goal was to bring a national championship to Dodge City but, by the looks of this program and its future, coach Brewster will be the first to say that the goal is to now bring multiple national championships to Dodge City.
Local Dodge City favorite Prime on the Nine hosted a banquet fit for a champion on Monday night to celebrate the triumphant return of coach Brewster and his squad. Photos of the event can be seen in the "gallery section" on GoConqs.com.
Don't miss an opportunity to see the team continue to bring energy to Conquistador sporting events when they are back in action on April 25 when the football team takes on Fort Scott CC at Memorial Stadium.