Cheer tryouts give head start for season

Alexis Megdanoff, Online Editor

The new 2015 varsity and JV football cheer teams were chosen last week after two days of tryouts filled with learning new routines and showing off their stunting skills. These tryouts have decided who is going to be spending a large part of their summer practicing and getting into shape to hit the ground running once school starts once more in the fall.

“Right now we are sanctioned by the Michigan High School Athletic Association so we aren’t allowed to have tryouts until after Memorial day,” coach Kristi Damon-Webster said. “With them having the ability go all summer we’re going to work on this year’s speed and agility conditioning program that the school provides. In addition to that, they will practice and have gymnastics coaches over the summer too. It kind of just gives them a little bit of jump start. Cheerleading is practically turning into a year-round sport.”

Tryouts gave the girls the chance to provide the coaches with the chance to assess several abilities that are required of a cheerleader.

“They will try out in groups of threes and we will evaluate them on skills. So skills typically are splits, heel stretches (right and left), and then their tumbling and stunting,” Damon-Webster said. “We have a scoring system and in the end we do go off of the scoring system, however, in cheerleading with there being different positions – flyers, different side bases and backspots – we have to take that into account too.”
wpid-wp-1433803253933.jpegPhoto by Alexis Megdanoff

Each girl who makes the team is expected to be a good representative of the school as well as participate in activities at the school and around the community.

“It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of determination and courage to do the skills. Skills can be nerve racking,” sophomore Jordynn Bloss said. “There’s also sportsmanship, leadership and you have to be able to work well in a group and be patient; there are a lot of things.”

Despite the amount of responsibilities placed on the cheer team, some cheerleaders feel they represent something more than just the activities they take part in.

“As a cheerleader you need to be happy all the time, but you need to be respectful to other cheerleaders and the players,” freshman Molly Anderson said. “They [cheerleaders] represent peppiness and happiness, and I feel like they need to show that.”
For junior Hannah Kirshman, her experience on the team allows her to lead the more inexperienced girls towards becoming a successful member of the team.

“I think that as an upperclassman, as someone who has been on the team for a long time, me and all the other upperclassmen need to set a good example and work really hard to represent a good cheerleader that the girls want to live up to so they want to get those skills and work hard,” Kirshman said. “I would suggest that they just try to show that they’re trying really hard. Even if they don’t have a lot of skills or they’re not that good yet, just show they’re trying hard and they really want to be a cheerleader, that they really care about Fenton cheer, and that they try to have fun.”