ARLINGTON, Texas — Spirit is a word you often hear among cheerleaders.
On Saturday, a group of remarkable athletes showed an unbelievable amount of strength, competing in honor of their coach and her unborn child two days after she died in a wrong-way crash in Arlington.
Tristan Bustillos allegedly drove into oncoming traffic on Matlock Road on Thursday evening, causing a crash that killed Ashley Medina Bare and her unborn child, Arlington police said.
Vikings Elite Cheerleading said Bare was killed in the crash. They described her as a coach who worked tirelessly to prepare the girls for the Spirit Celebration Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders National Championship on Saturday.
The team struggled with the idea of competing, just two days after her death, but ultimately decided it was what “Coach Ashley” would have wanted, according to a team parent.
On Saturday, in front of thousands at AT&T Stadium, the girls fought back the tears during a moment of silence, as a montage of their coach’s pictures cycled through the big screen.
"As this team takes the floor, we ask that you stand and cheer louder than the angels," an announcer told the crowd before the team took the floor. "We scream with all that we have, so that not only do they know that Ashley is here with them, but they know that we will cover them and celebrate life with them and give them the energy that they need to press on."
Moments later, the girls gave it their all. As their routine came to an end, and the emotion of the moment became too much for some, the crowd gave the team the loudest ovation of the night.
For Coach Ashley.