Warning: the following contains spoilers for Cheer Season 2, now streaming on Netflix.

Cheer fans were eager to see where the Navarro College cheerleading squad left off after their latest national victory at the end of Season 1. The first season catapulted its athletes to superstardom basically overnight, and Navarro’s competitors were particularly eager to knock them down a peg after the surprising way that they earned their 14th title.

Navarro and Trinity Valley Community College were among the squads competing at the National Cheerleading Championships in Daytona Beach. Competitive cheerleaders have short-lived careers, with no real opportunities to advance in the sport past the collegiate level, and the Daytona championship was the only competition both schools attended annually — which made what happened in Season 1 even more frustrating for Trinity Valley.

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At the 2019 Championship shown in Cheer‘s first season, Navarro suffered a catastrophic setback when Austin Bayless sustained an ankle injury in the middle of their performance. However, the judges allowed Navarro another chance to perform with an alternate in Bayless’ place. They were given thirty minutes of practice time with their alternate before taking the mat again — and ultimately claiming victory. This second chance did not go over well with their rivals.

Cheer Season 2 expanded its focus to include Trinity Valley, and it was clear from the first episode that Trinity Valley was going into the new competition season with a huge chip on their shoulder. Navarro’s 2019 win wasn’t the only controversy the school endured and coach Monica Aldama left the team temporarily to appear on Dancing with the Stars, so TVCC had the chance to capitalize on the distractions and beat their adversaries.

The drama begs the question of whether or not Navarro should have received a second chance in the first place. Injuries and mistakes happen on the mat all the time; there’s a point system set in place for judges to look out for little missteps in routine. While injuries are the very reason that teams have alternate athletes, it did seem that Navarro’s outstanding track record earned them a bit of favoritism with the judges — making TVCC come back in Season 2 of Cheer with a vengeance.

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Throughout the training season leading up to the next National Championship, both Navarro and Trinity Valley set the bar impossibly high with their routines, and the pressure was on the athletes as well as the coaches. Navarro and Coach Aldama remained calm, cool and collected despite TVCC breathing down their necks at local events — sometimes chanting insults and profanities at Navarro in an attempt to throw them off their game.

TVCC’s behavior throughout Cheer’s second season was a bit childish but came from an understandable place. After feeling cheated out of the previous title, Trinity Valley was gunning for a true, unbiased victory while Navarro was just trying to train at the level they were expected to reach during a chaotic season. Both teams endured different kinds of stress before facing each other one more time at the end of Season 2, and their rivalry is likely to continue if Netflix orders Season 3.

To see who claims victory in Daytona, Cheer’s second season is now streaming on Netflix.

KEEP READING: Cheer’s Season 2 Finale Will Go Down as One of 2022’s Most Emotional

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