Marti Perkins, a law student at Lancer University, discovers that her scholarship has been canceled and her well-meaning but irresponsible mother, Wanda has neglected to inform her. Broke and out of options, Marti realizes the only way she can stay in school is to win a place on the Hellcats - Lancer's legendary cheer squad - and the scholarship that comes with it. Despite a confrontation with the Hellcats peppy team captain, Savannah, Marti wins over coach Vanessa Lodge, makes the squad and is thrust into a competitive world unlike anything she has ever known.
Marti is horrified when she discovers Wanda in the audience at qualifiers and banishes her from the stadium. After Charlotte, Savannah's sister and captain of the Hellcats' rival team from Memphis Christian college, falls and suffers a serious injury, Savannah is torn between going with her sister to the hospital and staying to compete. Savannah tells Marti her parents stopped talking to her when she decided to transfer from Memphis Christian to the secular Lancer University, forcing Marti to re-think her stance on Wanda attending qualifiers.
Savannah is nervous about her first date with Dan so Marti, Lewis and the rest of the Hellcats team accompany her on their date which ends in disaster. Meanwhile, Marti tries to impress her law professor Julian in the hopes of joining his legal team but he doubts she can balance both her studies and cheerleading. Desperate to get her spot back, Alice turns to pills to hug the pain so she can get medically approved to re-join the team. Vanessa decides to come clean with Derrick about her affair with Red.
Lewis asks Marti out on a date, but she turns him down. Later, Alice and Lewis share a sweaty workout session after she convinces him she will stop taking drugs if he helps her get back in shape as a flier. Savannah takes Dan to meet her parents at their house for dinner, where a demand from Savannah's mother leads to an argument.
Savannah jeopardizes her position as captain when she upsets Alice. With Alice strongly opposed, Savannah convinces the team to let Dan direct their bid video and must deal with the consequences when things don't go as planned. Marti investigates more into her law professor Julian's case, while Red's confrontation with Derrick causes a fight.
The girls's volleyball team challenges the Hellcats to a flag-football game. Lewis coaches the Hellcats and Red is impressed by his plays. Marti pretends to be sick so she can skip the game and attend a conference with Julian. Alice wants to cheat to win but Savannah refuses, putting the girls at odds once again.
Desperate to raise funds to get them to Nationals, the Hellcats plan a date auction. However, things take a unexpected turn after Savannah's old boyfriend Noah shows up and outbids Dan, Morgan wins a date with a horrified Marti and Vanessa is bid on by a mystery man whom she suspects is Red trying to win her back.
For their anniversary party, the Hellcats plan an 80s party to celebrate, complete with costumes and a musical number by Vanessa. Savannah decides she's ready to spend the night with Dan and plans a romantic evening for the two of them, but things don't exactly work out as she envisioned. Meanwhile, Alice usurps a PR story that was supposed to be on the Lancer football team and makes it about the Hellcats, much to Jake's dismay. Marti has conflicted feelings about Savannah taking it to the next level with Dan.
Savannah is furious with Marti for keeping a secret about Dan from her so she goes home for a couple days to cool off and reconnect with her family.
Meanwhile, Marti is conflicted over her feelings for Dan and Lewis, and focuses on Travis' case to keep her mind occupied.
A compromising picture of Alice is sent around school, humiliating her. Lewis feels bad for Alice and agrees to help her find the culprit. The two discover Damian, a football player, is the culprit and she vows revenge and plans to out him after she finds out he is gay. Red and Vanessa hear of her plan and set out to stop her before she does something she will regret.
After the incident in the car, Dan issues Marti an ultimatum either admit she has feelings for him or their friendship is over.
Marti drags a depressed Savannah to a BBQ to help lift her spirits. Savannah drinks a little too much and decides to flirt with the DJ, which puts her in a compromising position later that night. Marti decides to tell Savannah the truth about what happened between her and Dan.
Marti endures a tense ride to sectionals with the Hellcats on the heels of her admission that she hooked up with Dan. Alice's father surprises Alice when he shows up to watch her fly. Alice confides to Lewis that she hasn't told her father that they broke up or that she was replaced as a flier.
In an effort to raise funds for sectionals, the Hellcats shoot a sexy calendar and throw a launch party with the band 3OH!3. Wanda convinces Savannah to tell her mother, Layne, about Charlotte Unfortunately, Savannah ends up taking the heat after Layne blames Savannah for being a bad influence.
The Hellcats kidnap Marti as her initiation into the group and reminisce about how Alice, Savannah, Lewis, and Vanessa became Hellcats. After the party, Marti realizes that her involvement in Travis's legal case could put her friends in harm's way and potentially cause Bill Marsh to disband the Hellcats entirely.
Savannah and Alice throw a toga party at Lancer, hoping the festivities will take their minds off the fact that the Hellcats might lose their funding. Marti, Vanessa and Julian come up with a plan that just may get Travis released from jail and save the Hellcats.
At Jimmy's wedding, Marti and Savannah are really nervous about seeing Dan, given their uncomfortable past, but they're in for an awkward surprise when he shows up to the wedding with his new girlfriend. Vanessa and Derrick face the toughest decision of their relationship.
Savannah can't believe her ears when Charlotte finally reveals the identity of her baby's father. Marti confronts her mother for more information about her father. The Hellcats learn that Memphis Christian is using the same song as the Hellcats for their routine at nationals.
Marti visits the store where her deceased father's guitar picks came from and meets Deidre, who helps Marti uncover another piece of information about her father. Dan shoots a zombie horror film for his Lancer film school application and enlists the Hellcats as actors in the project.
Marti convinces Julian to let her represent a Lancer University student at Honor Court, but she soon realizes the case is even more personal than she originally thought. Vanessa and Red are shocked to find out that Red's ex-wife, Emily, has been hired to dig up dirt on Lancer's athletic programs and staff.
As Marti delves further into her family secrets with the help of Julian, her bond with a mysterious record store employee, Deidre, grows stronger.
Lewis enters a dance contest with Kathy in the hopes of winning a new car for his father, but things really heat up when Alice decides to enter the competition as well. Savannah struggles to help her family navigate a major crisis. Red's ex-wife, Emily, continues to stir up trouble in his relationship with Vanessa.
An epidemic of strep throat hits Lancer University which results in the Hellcats heading to Nationals a few members short and leaving the team dangerously close to being disqualified. After the shocking discovery that they are related, Marti and Deidre hit some major road bumps in their relationship.