Features 12/4/09

Truth behind the cheers

By Sarah Hlavaty
Features Editor

  Over the past few months, students of Loyalton High have had their share of exciting soccer, football and volleyball games reported in The Roar’s sports news, but another vital sport has been left in the shadows: cheerleading.
  Weaver became the cheerleading coach in the summer of 2005 when the previous coach had resigned. Coach Weaver’s daughter was entering her senior year, and Weaver wanted her to have the chance to cheer, so she sent in a letter of interest and was granted the job. Having been a cheerleader in her high school years, Weaver said she feels cheerleading is very important to promote school spirit. “I really enjoy coaching cheerleading,” she shared, “and each squad has its own unique abilities.”
  When deciding to join the team, girls have to either purchase their own blue and white uniform or borrow one from a former cheerleader. There are also two separate teams for the different sports seasons, so if for some reason a girl can’t cheer during the football season, she has another chance during the basketball season. Some LHS girls participate in volleyball at the beginning of the year and then end up on the cheerleading team for basketball games and such, while cheerleaders from the football season may leave to compete in basketball games.
  During the first of the cheerleading practices, the girls start off learning basic cheers, and then move on to learning more complex cheers and dances. Sometimes, if the girls are incorporating stunts into their dances, they might have practices that consist of just teaching and learning the stunts. Some sessions have the cheerleaders practicing five different dances in a short amount of time.
  A few cheers that the squads use to raise school spirit among students, players and spectators alike have been used for year; some are seen on TV or passed down by family members who throw the ideas around with their teammates; and others are brought along with girls from their former schools. The cheerleaders have approximately 10 pages of cheers they are required to learn. Coach Weaver praise that this year’s football cheer squad was “very talented” and “had a lot of fun during the season.” Members were Kendra Deal, Jessica DeBerg, Kirsten Goldsmith, Nicole McGuire, Anne Renteria, Jessica Renteria, Hannah Redding, Maddi Morris, Molly Wentling and Chlesea Vaglivielo.
  Currently, the new cheerleading team is just getting started for basketball season with new members Lizzy Bartter, Brizza Villafan, Angelina Folchi, Niecea Freeman and Leanna Glennon joining football season veterans Kendra Deal, Nicole McGuire and Molly Wentling.
  Weaver stated. “So far the basketball squad seems to be going well, and I feel we will be very spirited.”
  The team is planning to incorporate new dance moves to please that crowd at games. Also, some of the girls are taking gymnastic classes to better their cheer moves. Weaver said the team would like to see spectators more involved with cheering at games and showing opposing teams energetic LHS school spirit.
  Coach Weaver explained that cheerleading is a very demanding and huge commitment by each members of the squad.   Cheerleaders have to learn multiple sports such as cheering, dancing, stunting and gymnastics. On a last note, Coach Weaver said she would like to hear from students who are interested in wearing the mascot uniform during games.

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