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Students allowed to participate in both pom, cheer next year

Students allowed to participate in both pom, cheer next year

(Friday, March 11, 2016)

By Halie Bouton

On March 24, for the first time in school history, students can try out and be selected for both the cheer and pom squads next year. 

According to Mackensie Haverkamp, junior pom co-captain, she first approached her coaches and administrators with the idea that students should be allowed to be on both spirit squads instead of being forced to choose.

Haverkamp shared why she wanted this to be an option.

“I want to try out for both squads because I did cheer freshman year, and I miss it. I think that having both skill sets will help me in future endeavors,” she explained.

Pom Sponsor Jena Brown agreed.

“I think being able to try out for both cheer and dance is a great thing for the students to be able to do. This will not only bring the two squads together but also help us grown as a team with more talent on both teams. The girls will have a lot of commitment with doing both, but it is very doable,” Brown said.

While administration supports the idea, Warren Bledsoe, athletic director, said he does have some concerns.

“It will be difficult for them to do two practices, and they might not be able to do it after school because of other activites. This causes many challenges that the girls will have to work through,” Bledsoe said.

Brown said she understood Bledsoe’s concerns.

“This will change the season in a way the students will have to be very prepared and flexible. It will be a learning experience for both Lexi and I, and we are still figuring out specifics on the season,” she said.

Students interested in trying out for the spirit squads will start practicing in the new gym on March 21, which is the Monday students return from Spring Break. Cheer practice will be from 6 to 8 p.m. On Tuesday, March 22, pom practice will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Both practices will be held on Wednesday, with cheer from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and dance from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

This year, Brown will be teaching the dance to prospective spirit squad members.

“This will give me the opportunity to teach the girls or boys at the speed they will be learning their routines during the school year, as well as give them a chance to get to know me as a coach and what I expect during the season,” she explained.

Brown said tryouts will start at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 24. Brown said that she and Lexi Schmidtlein, cheer sponsor, are choosing the judges for tryouts and that judges are still being finalized. She said at the first practice, students will be in pairs and will draw numbers. 

“They will perform the dance (or cheer) that they learned during the week as well as any other additional skills they want to ‘show off’ for the judges,” Brown said.

In addition to the tryouts, students also have to fill out a packet of information and obtain teacher evaluations from three current instructors.

Students will find out shortly after tryouts if they made a respective spirit squad. Results will be included on a sign posted on the junior high wing doors with their tryout numbers.

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