WHS Cheerleaders Compete In Frederick County Competition
WHS Lions Pride Original Story:
by Faith Gordon for Walkersville High School Lion’s Pride
For the first time in 11 years, the Walkersville High School cheerleaders competed in the annual county cheerleading competition and it was surely an enjoyable experience for all who participated and attended.
For the past two weeks the WHS cheerleaders have had practices three hours a day, four days a week including weekends, to perfect their competition routine.
Senior Kasey Shawver said, “We’ve had practices everyday just going over the routine and hitting all of our stunts. We also went to a competition cheer gym to get help from a coach at Shockwave.”
“We’ve been working really hard, doing stretches, working on jumps, running and correcting any mistakes,” said senior Brayden Shorrow.
Because it was the first year coming back to the competition after an 11 year absence as well as not practicing for the competition at least a month in advance, WHS walked into the competition at a disadvantage but they continued to push themselves to put on a great performance.
“The only thing that I’m really concerned about are the stunts hitting because we started [preparing] later than everyone else did but we’re trying our best to get our stunts to hit and jumps look good,” said freshman Brianna Eyler.
“We’ve practiced a lot at school and even at home we stretch and practice tumbling and just go through the routine a lot so we can get away from the disadvantages of being new to the competition. We do a lot of team bonding too because we have to be able to trust each other to do great stunts,” said sophomore Erin Kopit.
Because this is the first year being able to compete for all of the girls, there were many changes that were made to the squad in order to properly prepare for the competition.
“We had to become really close as a small squad because we’re a squad of all different levels and we’re only a varsity team and not a JV team so we had to bond more,” said Shawver.
“There’s no JV team this year since there’s not as many people but we’re closer as a team because of it,” said freshman Emerson Kelley
At the competition each squad sat together on the gym floor as the audience began to take their seats. Once it got closer to the start of the competition, the cheerleaders from all the schools formed a circle and played cheer games such as “little Sally Walker” and “Jiggalo”.
The JV teams performed first as the varsity team of their school sat at the sidelines and cheered them on. Each routine was full of difficult stunts such as twist up fulls (when the flyer’s legs are crossed and she twists while the bases are lifting her above their heads) and basket tosses (where the bases throw the flyer high in the air then catch her). Each team was required to perform sequenced jumps, a cheer and a dance, giving the teams flexibility in showing their style in their stunting.
The WHS cheer team was the first of the varsity teams to perform. They began their routine with tumbling passes completed by Kasey Shawver and Emerson Kelly. The squad was off to a great start until the music skipped and threw the girls off their focus. The team then continued on to attempt difficult stunts such as heel stretches (flyers are being held up by one foot which stretching the other leg up) and arabesques (flyers are held up by one leg and stretch other leg out to make a “superman” position) but sadly the stunts did not “hit” meaning that they were not completed. When the squad finished their routine it was obvious that they were not proud of their performance and some of the girls were in tears.
Following Linganore High School’s impressive all star style competitive cheer routine, the Walkersville cheer team got a second shot at performing their routine the right way and wowing the judges. They performed a flawless routine with great jumps, sharp motions and perfectly executed stunts. At the end of their second performance the girls were jumping, hugging and crying tears of joy.
Although at the end of the competition Walkersville did not make the top three varsity squads, the girls and coaches were very proud of their performance as well as their hard work and dedication.
“I’m really proud of our girls for really hitting it the second time because we usually don’t get second chances and just putting our all out on the mat,” said Shorrow.
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