This year, the cheerleading team, coached by Rebecca George and Carol Cummins-Herndon, added eight new cheerleaders to the squad mid-season. After the team faced seven injuries they decided to add some new members. They couldn’t compete while the girls were injured and captains Tatyana Belinsky ‘12 and Emelia Hildreth ‘12 knew that many girls didn’t try out in the spring because they were participating in fall sports.
“Our goal for this year is to impress our school with our new squad, increase our tumbling, place well in our competitions, and hopefully increase school spirit by doing so,” said Hildreth.
Now that the squad is bigger, the team is able to move up a division so the competition is more challenging. Two years ago, the team placed first at Nationals, and last year, they placed third.
Their first competition was Dec. 4, and going into it Belinsky hoped to do well, but knew that it would be even harder due to the new competition.
However, the girls placed second and qualified for nationals, even though they accidentally performed an illegal stunt.
In their division it is illegal to have a flyer’s hips go above their head (or inverted). The team lost a total of three points which didn’t hinder their ability to qualify for nationals.
One new cheerleader, Taylor Nielsen ‘13, is excited about joining the team.
“I’ve wanted to be a cheerleader since I was little but haven’t been able to do so due to other conflicts,” said Nielsen.
Although having a larger squad allows the team to do a lot more, the captains have had to work very hard to catch the new girls up to speed. The team started practice in the summer so the new girls don’t have those four months of practice under their belts.
All of the new cheerleaders have had to work hard to learn the cheers and competition routines. Because the squad is bigger they are able to do more stunts and be louder at basketball games and competitions.
“The new cheerleaders are great,” said Belinsky. “They are all really sweet girls, and they’re working hard which I know will pay off in upcoming competitions.”