Camille Hecht is taking her cheerleading skills from Nogales High School to the bright lights of the Big 12 Conference.
The soon-to-be NHS graduate signed a letter of intent on Monday to attend Oklahoma State University and be part of the Cowboys’ large coed cheerleading squad.
That means cheering in front of crowds of 50,000 or more spectators at home football games and some away contests. She’ll also have the chance to cheer at OSU basketball games.
She called the opportunity to be a part of big-time college sports “crazy” and “surreal,” adding: “I’m excited though.”
Hecht was a member of the 2018-19 NHS cheerleading team that won first place at the 2019 USA Spirit Nationals in Anaheim, Calif. after winning both the Arizona Interscholastic Association state championship and the Arizona Cheer Championship in February. During the latter competition, she took first place in the Solo Cheer division for the fourth consecutive year.
A former teammate now at OSU recommended the school to her, and so she went to one of their cheer clinics.
“After the clinic I practiced with the team and I got more of a feeling of the team,” she said. “It helped a lot to find the perfect fit for me.”
During a signing ceremony on Monday at NHS, outgoing cheer coach Carolyn Hernandez said she was “thrilled” to have coached Hecht for four years.
“She has a great work ethic and it shows by what she’s accomplished here,” Hernandez said.
“We’re extremely proud of her,” her mother Bania Hecht said. “She knew what she wanted, she worked every day toward it.”
Father Kevin Hecht said his daughter would represent Nogales and NHS in Oklahoma, where her perceived “funny accent” will prompt people to ask, “Where are you from?”
“She’s going to shine, and she’s going to be on Big 12 on TV all the time so keep an eye out for her,” he said.
Camille, who said she plans to major in political science at OSU, thanked those in attendance for coming to the ceremony, saying it meant a lot to her.
She has always dreamed about being a college cheerleader, she said, noting: “Hard work does pay off, and this is an example.”