A Tripp of a Lifetime: FDSH Cheerleader Heading to London - from The Messenger
Fort Dodge Senior High School cheerleader Isaach Tripp is preparing for the trip of a lifetime.
On Dec. 26, Tripp, a senior, will fly to London in the United Kingdom where he will meet up with 750 of the United States’ top high school cheerleaders. On New Year’s Day, the cheerleaders from the Universal Cheerleaders Association’s All-American cheer squad, will participate in the London New Year’s Day Parade.
Tripp was selected for the UCA All-American cheer squad after trying out last summer during a UCA cheer camp the Fort Dodge Senior High squad attends. Only six cheerleaders from each school are allowed to try out for the squad, and Tripp was selected to try out by FDSH cheer coach KC Williams all four years he’s been on the squad. And all four years, he’s made the All-American squad, which selects only the top 10 percent of cheerleaders across the country, Williams said.
“My freshman year, I actually went to Philadelphia through the same program and I was in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Tripp said. “It introduced me to a whole new cheer experience. I met a lot of people and it wasn’t until that moment that I realized that cheer was bigger than just like the sidelines.”
In fact, Tripp didn’t initially want to be a cheerleader. He was encouraged by friends to try out for the Dodger squad when he was a freshman, but he wasn’t interested.
“I actually didn’t want to try out because I was scared of the stereotypes about male cheerleaders and whatnot,” he said.
But he ultimately ended up trying out, making the team and finding his “niche,” he said.
“KC kind of took me under her wing and made it a very fun environment for me,” Tripp said.
About two weeks after Tripp returns from London, he will be graduating early and starting classes at Iowa Central Community College, where he hopes to join the cheerleading program in the fall.
Williams is proud of Tripp’s accomplishments in cheerleading and said he deserves this opportunity.
“As a coach, I think this is a wonderful experience,” she said. “Isaach has worked very hard to get top-level elite skills, but even though the skills are what got him the trip, it’s going to be the memories and the friendships and the relationships that he’s going to carry forward from the trip. I’m excited for him. There’s no better person to go there and represent us.”
Tripp loves meeting new people and having new experiences and is ready to represent the Dodgers “in the best way possible.”
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to London and be in one of the biggest parades in the world for New Year’s,” he said. “I’m going to definitely pull a lot of memories away from it.”
This is Tripp’s first trip out of the country and he knows only one other person on the trip – a cheerleader he knows from Council Bluffs.
“There’s definitely nerves, but overall, I’m ready,” he said. “I’m so excited.”
Outside of the parade and rehearsing for the parade, the cheerleaders will see a production of the musical “Wicked,” and visit Windsor Castle, among other sightseeing opportunities. But neither of those are what Tripp’s been most looking forward to.
“Riding on the London Eye,” he said, referring to the giant illuminated ferris wheel. “I’ve been so excited for that.”
Tripp also plans to see London’s iconic clock tower outside of the Palace of Westminster.
“Even though it’s under construction,” he said. “But who cares? It’s Big Ben.”