Freshman cheerleaders fly up

Cheerleaders on the freshman team merge to form a larger JV team for the competitive season


Calling a chant to the crowd, freshman cheerleaders fire up the football players and crowd at Swinehart Field. “In competitive season I’m looking forward to new challenges and new bonds with different people,” freshman Olivia Sugameli said. The freshmen are considered JV athletes for the competitive season.

Justice Seay, Staff Writer

The announcement that the JV and freshman cheer teams would merge for competitive season sent a shock through the cheer program — now both teams are wondering how their teams merging will affect their 2020 season.

“I think merging the team will actually give them a benefit and upper hand against the other JV teams. I think we have a lot of talent in both teams and so by combining them, we’re getting the best of both worlds and we’re kind of making this super team” JV coach Dominique Shindle said. “I’m hopeful that it’ll be a really, really great season.”

Competitive season cheer tryouts took place Nov. 11 in the gym. Cheerleaders were scored on a point-based system for jumps, tumbling, stunting and splits. Freshman and JV athletes tried out together and were scored equally because it was expected the freshmen received the proper training to perform at the minimum of a JV level.

“We did really well last year with 12 people on the mat for each round and now that we’re going to have 16 [in round one], 12 [in round two] and 16 [in round three], we’re going to score even higher. We got a varsity score last year with only 12 people, so I think it will be really good for us,” junior Katelyn Naert said. “I think adding the freshmen will be good because they’re all really good tumblers.”

Many cheerleaders believe the change will improve season scores. Utilizing a larger number of people on the mat makes for a stronger, more solid team and provides a variety of skills to incorporate into routines, according to Shindle.

“Our motivation was to amp up the difficulty of our program and really set a standard for the people coming in in the future,” Shindle said. “We felt like the freshman having a sideline season was a good way for them to get their basics and see where they were at skill wise. Bringing them up for JV would really help prepare them for their future as a JV cheerleader and/or Varsity cheerleader. We felt like it was just giving us that that step ahead compared to the rest of the programs.”