Back And Better Than Ever

The cheer team is back and better than ever.


Kate P

The cheer team practices their pep assembly routine

Kate Peters, News/Sports Editor

Standing in a huddle, 20 teenage girls lean in with arms around one another in the gym. The fluorescent lights brighten the space even though darkness shadows through the windows near the rafters. Junior and cheer Captain Imani Cutler yells out from the center of the circle.

Cheer Captain Imani Culter performs at the pep assembly for the faculty and student body. (Genesis Martinez Porras)

“What are we?” she screams. 

“The change!” the team chants back. 

This is the start of every practice, game and competition for the 2022-2023 cheer squad.

The cheer team performed in front of the student body for the first time at the fall sports pep assembly. An upbeat start to the routine with freshmen Brooke Sobba and Rekha Ross tumbling into back tucks amplified the energy of the crowd. 

“I think all of us did way better than we essentially did at cheer camp,” junior Gianna Collins said. “We were all very loud and the motions were sharp and we were very spirited, which really got the crowd involved and engaged.”

Juniors Tillie DeVolder and Gianna Collins watching the pep assembly after performing for the school. (Genesis Martinez Porras)

The cheer team’s main goals are to build a better reputation and compete at Nationals. They have scheduled extra practices and are already forming stunts and jump sequences that will be used in competition routines. 

“My goals as a coach for this team is to change the perception and the culture within the team, and infect the entire school with our positivity and enthusiasm,” Coach Maria Hurd said. “My goal for each individual girl is to bring out all of their athletic and leadership talents to the surface and guide them to be the best version of themselves they can be.”

The cheer team struggled last year, due to a smaller team of nine girls, the lack of attendance at practices, and lack of team chemistry. Cheer did not compete at all, and the size of the team dwindled throughout the season.

“I think we all had different opinions because we all were fighting,” Collins said. “Which made our cheer team not as involved with one another and we just weren’t really a team anymore at that point.”

Even in just a few short months, cheer’s dynamics are incomparably healthier  since the previous season. Teammates encourage one another throughout practice. If someone were to fail a stunt or tumble, everyone congratulates them for trying their hardest and not giving up. 

“I’m definitely looking forward to going to the competition this season and showing positive energy and good school spirit this year,” freshman Loren Clarkson said. “ If I could change something about the team it would be people being negative because that’s not what cheer is about.”