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East Texas cheer team prepares for most prestigious competition in America

Platinum Starz trains out of T’s Tumbling gym in Rusk, which is owned by Shay Mueller. Mueller has been coaching for 36 years and opened the gym in August 1995.

RUSK COUNTY, Texas — An East Texas cheer team has earned a spot competing against the best of the best in their division this May at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The Platinum Starz, consisting of nine East Texas girls, earned a wild-card bid to the D2 Summit set to start May 6 at the AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The team, a two-time national champion, earned the bid after placing first and bringing in the highest score among all age groups at the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Holiday Classic in Dallas this past month.

The team’s members are Bailey Bunn of Jacksonville; Dixie Dowling of Jacksonville; Keely Johnson of Jacksonville; Katie Jones of Alto; Kiely Jones of Alto; Nyla Muhammad of Frankston; Yasmyn Ray of Rusk; Lexie Stanley of Rusk; and Kelsey Woodard of Rusk.

Read more from our newspaper partners, the Tyler Morning Telegraph.