Trinity Valley Community College is coming for Navarro College's crown.
In the second season of the Netflix docuseries Cheer, Navarro College coach Monica Aldama is preparing her team to go up against Trinity Valley Community College athletes, who are led by coach Vontae Johnson.
For years, the two teams have gone head-to-head at the National Cheerleaders Association's National Championships in Daytona, Fla., with Navarro College consistently coming out on top. But it wasn't always that way.
The TVCC Cardinals are 11-time national champions and were once considered superior to Navarro, which is located only about 40 miles away. According to TVCC alum Craig Callaway, "Kids would go to Trinity Valley for tryouts. If they didn't make Trinity Valley tryouts, they'd go to Navarro and make the team there."
But Vontae's approach to coaching has helped the Cardinals return to their former glory. To learn more about the team, scroll on!
Johnson says he recruits athletes based on "their character," not their status: Vontae claims that he and Monica have different ideas of what makes a cheerleader good. While Monica recruits "showmen," according to Vontae, he says chooses people that have good hearts and a winner's mentality.
"Don't come to the Valley because you want to be famous," Vontae says in the first episode. "Come to the Valley because you want to be the best."
Jada Wooten and Jeron Hazelwood are the team captains: As one of the best tumblers on the team, Jada has taken on a leadership position for the Cardinals, and she's not one to let people phone it in. "I've always been a leader and I actually want to do better for my team instead of just myself or my coach," Jada says. "I'm trying to be a role model and lead for them the best I can."
And, according to Vontae, he's trained Jada to the point where "she can be humbly cocky, so she can shine in her own way."
As for Jeron, he's as a stumbler, which is when a cheerleader can stunt and tumble. But that's not what makes him uniquely suited to be a leader: Johnson says that he brings the "energy" to a performance: "He can make a team boost to another level with his personality."
"When you have somebody like Jeron, who can just walk into a gym and by being himself allow other people to decompress a little bit," assistant coach Kris adds, "you can't put a price on that."
Navarro lost out on the opportunity to bring Jeron onto the mat when they turned him down after an audition in 2016.
TVCC stole Navarro's choreographer for the 2019 championships: While Vontae and Khris prefer to focus on the technical aspects of cheer, they decided to bring on All Star choreographer Brad Vaughan, who previously worked with Monica for 13 years, to increase their chances of winning first place.
Though it's unclear why Brad and Monica parted ways, cheerleading organizer Bill Smith makes it crystal clear that it'll be a big deal to see the former teammates up against each other: "Wow... You've got the coach and the protégé, who run the All Star world choreography-wise, going head-to-head."
Pair that with their impressive cheerleaders, Jada, Jeron, DeVonte "Dee" Joseph and Angel Rice, and the Cardinals are starting to look like fierce competitors for Navarro.
To see who takes the gold at Daytona, watch the second season of Cheer, streaming now on Netflix.