By Quinci LeGardye published
Cheer is back. The acclaimed Netflix docuseries premiered its second season this week, following Monica Aldama's cheer team at Navarro College as they grapple with fame, scandal, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Filmed amid the changes facing the team, the unflinchingly honest second season follows Navarro as the champions train to take home first place at the NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer & Dance Championship in Daytona, Florida for the second year in a row.
But Navarro isn't the only team going for the gold in season 2. The doc expands this run to also follow their rivals, Trinity Valley Community College. The evenly matched teams have been going head to head for years, with the winner decided by tenths of a point on the scoreboard. For anyone who can't wait to find out who came out on top, read on to learn who won Daytona.
Who won Daytona in 2020?
Despite the two-year break between seasons, Cheer season 2 started filming as early as January 2020, following Navarro as they trained for Daytona that year. Cameras were also rolling in the aftermath of Cheer season 1's premiere, and we see the team's stars, including Gabi, Lexi, Morgan, La'Darius, and Coach Monica, juggle press appearances with practice. Despite all that, the team still got their routine pretty much down.
Then came March 2020. COVID was on the horizon as the team began Hell Week, an intense week of conditioning and perfecting their routine for Daytona. Soon afterwards, the world began shutting down and most sports events were cancelled, including the NBA, NCAA, and Daytona. Both Navarro and Trinity Valley's cheer seasons, as well as those of hundreds of schools throughout the nation, came to an abrupt end.
Who is Trinity Valley?
This season, we meet the Trinity Valley Community College Cheer team, 12-time Daytona champions and Navarro's longtime rivals. Led by head coach and former TVCC cheerleader Vontae Johnson, the team features several all-stars, including vet Jada Wooten, tumbler DeVonte “Dee” Joseph, and Angel Rice, who holds a Guinness World Record for tumbling.
Turns out, Trinity Valley was on the Cheer creators' radar since the beginning, with Johnson revealing that they were approached for season 1. The coach told Entertainment Tonight that he turned down the production then, but said yes after seeing season 1. “We loved how they portrayed our sport. So, we definitely didn’t turn it down the second time,” he said.
Who was on the Navarro cheer team in 2021?
The second half of Cheer season 2 follows both teams throughout the 2020-2021 school year, as they train for Daytona 2021. Unfortunately, though the cheerleaders' eligibility were extended for a year due to the pandemic, not everyone decided to return. Season 1 standout Lexi left the school, and La'Darius ended up leaving the team after a public feud with coach Monica. Jerry Harris also didn't return, as he was facing sexual assault charges.
Among Navarro members who returned were vet Gabi Butler and new additions to the show Maddy Brum, Gillian Rupert, and Cassadee Dunlap, who all joined the team the previous year.
What happened at Daytona in 2021?
Both teams make it to Daytona 2021 at the end of the season; the series follows them through the preliminary and final rounds, taking place over two days. In the end, both team performed their complex routines twice, landing a zero, or having zero errors, for one round and missing some moves for another round. For Trinity Valley, the errors happened in the prelims, while Navarro missed a stunt in the finals.
At the end of it all, Navarro scored 98.0708, and Trinity Valley finished with a score of 98.2292, winning with a 0.1584 difference. Cheer finishes the season showing one team's celebrations and the other team's defeat, followed by testimonials with several cast members discussing whether or not they'll return for another year. As for this year, time will tell whether Navarro or the Valley takes home the trophy at Daytona, which is set for April 6-10.
Quinci LeGardye is a LA-based culture writer who covers TV, movies and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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