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Cheer clinic to raise funds for Nationals

Their cheers add to the deafening noise at every football game, pumping up the enthusiasm of the team as well as the crowd.

This year, the varsity cheer squad achieved at a high level when they qualified for a national cheerleading competition, The Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders, in Florida.

?We?re leaving for Orlando on the third of January to compete,? Barbara Krikorian, ?07, said. “The competition is on the fifth.”

This year, the current team made it to Nationals for the first time. However, they preformed in last year?s California Championships, placing second overall. They also qualified for the Westcoast competition in Longbeach, CA, under the training of Katie Mendenhall, cheer coach.

?Our team has improved a lot this year,? Mendenhall said. ?Even if the girls just show up, it helps the team. There?s a higher level of commitment, and even higher standards than I expected.?

Developing their routine for Nationals adds stress to the team, but they do not seem to mind the work that they put into their practice sessions every day.

?I don?t mind practicing so often,? Krikorian said. ?I think it?s because we all love getting the crowd involved with our energy.?

Going to Nationals is an exciting prospect for the girls. For seven years they have missed the contest, and in the last 20 years, the team never went to an out-of-state competition.

?We?re all excited to finally be able to build up the program, and keep it that way,? Krikorian said.

The cheer squads are currently sponsoring a cheer clinic for elementary school girls during the week of Sept. 6-9 after school. The girls will learn cheers and techniques and will perform during the Immanuel football game on Sept. 9 beginning at 5:30 P.M. at Clark Intermediate in Clovis.

?I?m here at cheer clinic because it?s so fun, and we get to do cool stunts,? Megan de Witt, fifth grader, said. ?It was hard at first, but then it got a lot easier.?

The cost is $30 and is a fundraiser for the cheer squad’s trip to Nationals.

?The cheer clinic has been a tradition for 20 something years,? Mendenhall said. ?It?s a great way to teach young girls about showmanship and teamwork, whether or not they go on to be cheerleaders.?

Cheer clinic will be meeting in the Peoples Church gym at 3 P.M. on Sept. 6 and then in the Ground Zero courtyard each day after.

For more information about the cheerleading nationals in Orlando on Jan. 5, 2006, contact Mendenhall at [email protected] or go online to the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders’ website at www.cheerfcc.org.

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