Cheer cast 'heartbroken' after Daytona Championship canceled due to coronavirus
The cast of Cheer certainly won't be breaking out their spirit fingers over this unfortunate news. Due to concerns over the coronavirus, all cheerleading competitions and championship events have been canceled for the next two months. La'Darius Marshall, one of the stars of the series, said he was "heartbroken" over the cancellation, while his other teammates also expressed disappointment.
The news means the Navarro College cheer team, featured in Netflix's recent docuseries, won't get to defend its title at the NCA and NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance National Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla. The competition, scheduled for April 8-12, was called off after Varsity Spirit canceled all scheduled events on Sunday as health officials recommended against gatherings with 50 or more people. This is the first time in 40 years that the championship will not be held.
“We are actively exploring all options, including rescheduling events, extending the competition season, and hosting virtual competitions, to continue to provide a competition experience for the thousands of athletes who have worked so hard this year to compete,” the organization's statement read. “We are hopeful this situation will improve, and we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation. We will continue to update you with more information as soon as it’s available.”
The popular docuseries followed the Navarro College cheer team's journey to winning the championship last year. Marshall, one of the breakout stars of the series, told his Instagram followers that he was "heartbroken" over the cancellation.
"Daytona you will be missed and greatly appreciated. I love everyone one of my teammates and all the love we shared. The end of my cheerleading career has come a bit early," he wrote. "For everyone who supported me all this way I want to say thank you and I love you. I’m heartbroken for my team and coaches. Long live the bright light we all shared together and the countless fullouts we have done to get ready for this competition. I never got to say goodbye to my brothers and sisters but I know we all love each other dearly. To the rest of the world I love you guys and thank you for being our #1supporters."
Other team members like Lexi Brumback, Gabi Butler, and Shannon Woolsey also spoke out about the situation.
The cancellation comes after organizations like the NBA, NHL, and MLB suspended or pushed back their seasons. Across the country, concert tours, film and television productions, events, and more are also canceling dates to help fight the spread of coronavirus.
After Cheer premiered Jan. 8, its cast members became celebrities in their own right. A-Listers like Laura Dern, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Greta Gerwig all freaked out after meeting fan-favorite cheerleader Jerry Harris at the Oscars red carpet earlier this year, when he served as The Ellen Show's correspondent.