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The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Camarena Returns to BOHS to Lead Cheer, Stunt Teams

Daisy Mora
Stefanie Camarena instructs cheer and stunt team members at a March 6 practice. Camarena returns to BOHS, where she previously coached for 20 years, after a three-year stint at La Serna High School.

After a three-year stint leading La Serna High School’s cheer program, longtime BOHS coach Stefanie Camarena returns as interim head coach of Wildcat cheer and stunt.

Camarena served as varsity cheer head coach at BOHS for 20 years, winning five USA National Championships, two CIF titles, and a National High School Cheerleading Championship, with the program.

“I am thrilled to be back at Brea Olinda. It most definitely feels like home. Everyone has been so supportive in welcoming me back with open arms,” Camarena said. 

Camarena takes over the program from Keyauna Thomas, social worker, who took a leave of absence on Feb. 12. Thomas had led the team to first place at the Manhattan Beach Regionals competition on Nov. 11, which earned varsity a trip to the National High School Cheerleading Championships (NHSCC) in Florida, where the team placed fourteenth out of 38 teams. And on Jan. 20, cheer competed in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Division 4A championships, placing second. 

Camarena leads a cheer and stunt practice on March 6. (Issabella Garcia)

Despite the trophies, for some cheer veterans, like Bree Daniels, junior, the coaching change is welcome. Camarena’s hiring “[brings] back the old Brea cheer that everyone is familiar with and loved.”

According to Sophie Viramontes, junior, Camarena’s experience of coaching athletes to scholarships will benefit the girls in the program. “A lot more of my confidence will come back. I think Coach Stef can get me [to college]. She’s so experienced,” Viramontes said.

Camarena has a long history in competitive cheer, from Pop Warner, to Buena Park High School, to Fullerton Community College (FCC). While cheering at FCC from 2001 to 2004, Camarena began her coaching career, right here at BOHS. 

In addition to cheer, Camarena will also lead the stunt team. 

“Unlike traditional cheerleading, which I am used to, I am excited about the head-to-head aspect of the stunt games,” Camarena said.

Stunt involves two competing teams on the mat, side-by-side, performing the same routine. The results of the competition depend on the amount of minor and major deductions each team gets. 

“We’ll get better at how we stunt because I feel like our stunts are sloppy sometimes. In stunt, it’s a rule to be sharp with your movements, so I think [with] Coach Stef helping us, we’ll have an advantage when we get to competition season,” Viramontes said. 

Sophia Thompson, senior cheer captain, appreciates Camarena’s work ethic and her emphasis on self-sufficiency. “I’ve always admired her coaching style, even when I had her as a freshman. I’m glad we have a stunt season this year and that I get to finish it off strong,” Thompson said. 

Camarena’s plans for the program, however, go much further than trophies.

“I am looking forward to a fresh start and the challenge ahead of hopefully bringing a tradition of excellence back to Brea — excellence not only within the cheer program, but striving for those high standards in all aspects of our student athlete’s lives,” Camarena said. 

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About the Contributors
Azilynn Fuerte
Azilynn Fuerte, Staff Writer
Azilynn Fuerte, freshman, is a cheerleader and a staff writer for the Wildcat. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and cheerleading at sporting events, which she hopes to do this for the rest of her high school career. Post-high school, Azilynn wants to be a family lawyer and attend Hope College.
Issabella Garcia
Issabella Garcia, Photographer
Issabella Garcia, freshman, is involved in softball and cross country. Her goal this year is to get straight A’s and to be involved in school clubs and sports. She wants to major in journalism and go to Stanford University to major in journalism and digital media. During her free time she likes to listen to music, run, and play with her dog, Skye.
Daisy Mora
Daisy Mora, Photographer
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  • junaidMar 8, 2024 at 8:37 pm

    Wow Azilynn such a great job on this article i enjoyed reading it !!

  • LallieMar 8, 2024 at 8:21 pm

    Great informative article! Excited to read more about the upcoming season. Go wildcats!

  • Natalia FuerteMar 8, 2024 at 8:20 pm

    Great article Azilynn!! Looking forward to this new chapter.