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Elementary girls learn cheer basics

In preparation for future squads, about 50 aspiring elementary cheerleaders signed up to participate in the 25th annual cheer clinic, Sept. 11-13.

“I haven’t been in the cheer clinic before,” Mikayla Messer, ’14, said. “I am doing it because I am already a cheerleader and I want to learn more. I think cheerleading is fun; I get to meet a lot of new people.”

Cheerleaders young and old will meet in the Peoples Church gym from 3-4:30 P.M. to practice the basics.

“I have run the cheer clinic for the past four years and I also took part in it when I was a student on campus,” Katie Mendenhall, cheer coach, said. “The cheer clinic is basically the same as it was when I went. They have the same cheers, same stunts, and same Eagle spell out. It is a real classic. The only difference is that we have added a dance routine to it that we teach the kids. ”

“I continue to run the clinic because I love the joy it brings to the girls,” Mendenhall said. “It also introduces the kids to cheer at a younger age. I want to introduce cheerleading to younger girls because if they decide to stay with it, then by the time they reach high school, their skill is at an elite level. It prepares them for national competitions.”

The girls rotate daily between five stations: stunts, the big cheer, sideline cheers, fun cheers and dance; all cheerleaders are required to run each station.

“My favorite part of the cheer clinic is teaching cheers to little kids,” senior captain Taryn Brown said. “It is fun seeing the little kids excited in the thing I love to do.”

Kids will learn a cheer and perform it at a home football game against Mission Prep at Clark Intermediate on Sept. 14. They will cheer from the pre-game until halftime of the varsity game.

“I have been in the cheer clinic before and I continue it because it is fun and it helps me with my upper body strength,” Abby Brown, ’16, said. “My favorite part of the clinic is hanging out with my friends, doing stunts and dancing. I think Katie is the best cheer coach ever. If I had to pick a coach it would be her.”

The cost to participate is $40, which will help send the cheer team to competitions.

Varsity cheer plans to take part in seven competitions this year: the USA Regionals, FCC Capital Classic, GSSA Regional, Clovis Pep Classic, FCC West Coast Championships, Magic Mountain State Competition and USA Nationals.

?I am excited to go to competitions because I love getting out there and performing,? Whitney Stipe, ?08, said. ?I think we have a really good team and if we stay strong throughout the whole year we will do really well.?

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