Monica Aldama, coach of the Navarro College cheer team that rose to fame after being featured on Netflix’s “Cheer” docu-series, was forced to say an early goodbye to her beloved cheer team this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The coach reflected on feeling “heartbroken” in an Instagram post Wednesday, and shared the news that this year’s NCA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida has been canceled.
“I am heartbroken with the circumstances that the world is currently facing. We are in unprecedented times and everyone needs to take precautions for the safety of one another. Because of this pandemic, the Navarro Cheer team’s season has come to an end,” Aldama wrote in the post. “Sunday evening Varsity made a decision to cancel the NCA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, FL. This decision was inevitable as things have progressed and our country is in uncertain times.”
“My heart, however, is breaking for the lost memories and the lost time with my beautiful team. I was not ready to say goodbye so quickly. I was not mentally prepared for the team to turn in uniforms, pack their things and leave town.”
The highly respected, longtime coach at Navarro, who is known for having strict discipline yet close relationships with her team members, then turned the spotlight onto the kids who worked so hard this season.
“I want to thank the kids for pouring everything they had into this entire year – for the late nights- the games- the community service- the holidays given up,” she continued. “They are fighters and have always given me 100%. Their routine was so beautiful and their work ethic was bar none.”
Aldama also reflected on letting go of control in an unpredictable situation.
“I have always been able to control the narrative and resort to plan B or C or even Z. For the first time in my life I had no control and my life has been a roller coaster over the past week. What I do know is that we will be back better than ever!!! “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
‘Cheer’ star Morgan Simianer also sent love to Navarro in light of the season’s early end.
“Navarro College Cheer, You are my everything,” she wrote in a post. “My heart hurts that I won’t cheer again. I’m so thankful for the bonds I’ve created and the memories that I’ll carry with me forever. Thank you for shaping me into the person I am today. Thank you for providing a family for me and showing me all that this life has to offer. I’m going to miss everything about this. The program. The people. Everything. FIOFMU.”
In case you were wondering, no one outside of the Navarro cheer team knows what “FIOFMU” stands for, and they don’t intend on spilling the meaning of the team’s secret catch phrase.
Jerry Harris, known for giving positive “mat talk” pep-talks to teammates on the show, also weighed in.
“My family FOREVER and ALWAYS!” he wrote in a post. “This isn’t a goodbye…. it’s a see you soon.”
Fellow “Cheer” star La’Darius Marshall reflected on “the end of the journey.”
“FIOFMU, this is where we write the end of the journey for us all. Pens fall down as we put a period to the end of our story together. I love these people with all of my heart,” he wrote. “I am so thankful for everything we went through together.”