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Expectations increase for cheer try-outs

The varsity squad cheered together for the last time at the Fresno Pacific University basketball game against Point Loma on Feb. 24. Although the award winning team has only one remaining competition on March 10, the returning girls now face try-outs in the FC gym on March 6-9.

The girls will perform in front of a panel of judges, which consist of selected graduating members, faculty members, coaches from other schools and alumni cheer.

“The try-outs in general are just all around nerve racking,” Elizabeth Grossman, ’10, said. “It is intimidating knowing that the judges are watching every single action and move you make.

This year, cheerleaders most attend a clinic the first two days in order to learn cheers and routines. Actual try-outs will be on the final day.

“The cheer clinic is a really good thing that we do,” Nikki Erickson, ’09, said. “It is a good time to work on our weak points and also it gives us a chance to meet the new upcoming freshmen.”

Coach Katie Mendenhall believes several JV members will move up due to 10 graduating seniors.

“Though we have a lot of girls graduating this year I think we will still be just as good next year,” Mendenhall said. “There are many younger girls moving up with the same just as much capability that the squad had this year.”

The qualifications will rise this year as well. Tumbling is going to be added to the list of cheers, dances, jumps and sharp motion. Girls will also be judged on personality and smile.

“I normally feel pretty confident during the try-outs,” Whitney Stipe, ’08, said. “The one thing I need to work on though is when I mess up I laugh, so I need to work on that to make sure I don?t do it during the try-outs.”

Current cheer hopefuls from 6th-11th grades will be trying out for spots on one of three squads. Some upcoming junior highers were noticeably tense as they face the transition to high school and the cheer squad.

“At the moment I am more excited then I am nervous,” Kory Thompson ’11, said. “I really enjoy the sport and just plan on getting over the intimidation of older high school students and will do the best I can at tryouts.”

For more information regarding cheer’s final competition click here on Brittany Lauber’s Feb. 26, 2007, article, Cheer places 2nd behind rival.

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