Freedom High grad Tia Barrett, a junior at Xavier University of Louisiana honored in competitive cheer Monday
NEW ORLEANS — The NAIA announced Monday its 2023 All-Americans in competitive cheer, and Xavier University of Louisiana was the only school with more than one on the 12-member first team.
XULA’s three first-team All-Americans are sophomores Gabrielle Brightmon, Syre Baker and Kelsey White. XULA’s Tia Barrett, a junior, was chosen to the second team, and freshman teammates Kendall Baggett and Laila Terry earned honorable mention.
Barrett is from Oakley, Calif., and a graduate of Freedom High School. Brightmon is from Katy, Texas, and a graduate of International Leadership of Texas High School. Baker is from Los Angeles and a graduate of Middle College High School. White is from Baton Rouge, La., and a graduate of Zachary High School. Baggett is from Allen, Texas, and a graduate of Allen High School. Terry is from Waldorf, Md., and a graduate of North Point High School.
Brightmon, Baker, White and Barrett are XULA’s first NAIA All-Americans in this sport.
The Gold placed sixth Saturday at NAIA nationals in Ypsilanti, Mich., and XULA, a fourth-year program, produced its third consecutive top-six finish in this event. XULA was the 2022 NAIA national champion. XULA entered 2023 nationals No. 1 in the NAIA in average points per competition for the third consecutive season — this time that the average was 95.90, an improvement from 94.86 in 2022 and 89.15 in 2021.
XULA produced the top two final scores in its history in February — 98.6 Feb. 9 in a dual against Concordia (Mich.) and 97.72 Feb. 11 in winning its NAIA unaffiliated group qualifier.
XULA has one more meet this season: the National Cheerleaders Association national meet April 5-9 at Daytona Beach, Fla.