"Although we were in a very tough situation, these kids are fighters." In a new video for Netflix featuring her narration, Navarro College Cheer Team coach Monica Aldama recently reflected on a pivotal scene from the Cheer docuseries finale. (Yes, it was the Daytona do-over.)
It was a moment that likely made millions of viewers hold their breath: after countless practices and so much effort put in, the team was well into their end-of-year performance at the national collegiate cheer championship when team member Austin Bayles landed incorrectly, injuring his ankle. Though the team would be given another opportunity to perform the routine with Alex Bouhuys in Austin's place, they were shaken up.
"At this point, I could see the fear in everyone's eyes. There were people crying. I think a lot of people felt like we had just lost — that we were defeated," Monica said, looking back. "So, I knew that my job at this moment was to make sure that they felt confident and that I believed in them. I could not let any of my emotions show."
With the minimal time they were given, the team tried their best to get Alex up to speed. "We actually only got to do the pyramid about four times. One pyramid fell completely. It wasn't shown in the show, but completely fell to the ground," Monica said. She added, "You can also hear me talking to them to let them know that their competition had a mistake. I felt like that was important because I wanted them to not feel like they were out of the game."
As viewers will know, Navarro went on to nail their second attempt at the performance and take the championship. "We practice through really hard situations so that we can fight through everything," Monica said. "The bond that this team has – the grit and determination — those are all the things that allowed this team to fight through this injury." Watch the video in its entirety above, and read POPSUGAR's interview with Monica and several Navarro cheerleaders for more insight into what went down that day.