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Cheer competition motivates determination

The perky and spirited campus cheer squad prepares for their third competition. It is scheduled to be held in Long Beach on Feb. 19. The girls eagerly prepare for what they hope will be a stellar performance.

As their time grows thin and the competion nears, the squad practices from 2:15 – 5 P.M. to perfect their routine. They focus on all aspects of their performance to ensure a high placing.

“Competitions are always so exciting,” Megan Alcorn, ’07, said. “Hopefully we’ll do better in this one than we have in the past; at our last competition we placed fourth.”

Alcorn also explained that the girls motivate each other to keep positive attitudes despite the stressful atmosphere.

“Even though we’re so tense before we compete, we always manage to stay optimistic,” Alcorn said. “We get so nervous because you get one quick chance to perform a perfect routine, and then you have to wait for the results.”

Some of the girls feel the squad is at a disadvantage due to the absence of a few team captains.

“We did really good at our first competition, because the entire squad was there,” Christie Belden, ’06, said. “This time things will be harder because Melissa Bump [?05] and Brittany Masiello [?06] will be out of town the day we perform.”

The majority of campus students fail to realize the significane of the cheer squad and hardly give them recognition.

“Sometimes we feel discouraged by the fact that other students don’t think our routines are very good and don’t appreciate our attempts to liven school spirit,” Alcorn said. “It puts extra pressure and stress on us that we don’t need, especially at times before a competition.”

Some of the girls feel that despite the common misconception, cheer is a tiring activity.

“Cheer is definitely a sport,” Belden said. “You have to be athletic and flexible as well as a fast paced thinker.”

Alcorn later explained that despite their discouragment, the girls generally use the doubts expressed by other students as motivation to push themselves to the end of their own limits.

Coaches also often make huge differences in the general moral and productivity of the team.

“Our coach, Katie, is awesome,” Belden said. “Everyone likes her because she’s really young so she can really relate to us and she’s a lot of fun. She encourages us all the time and she’s really patient.”

Katie Mendenhall, cheer coach, is a former campus cheerleader. She invests herself into the cheer squad with no regret.

“Once or twice some of the girls have got so caught up in competition stress that they started crying before our performance,” Alcorn said. “The atmosphere is invigorating because you’re so nervous and then all of the sudden you walk off the stage and you feel so relieved.”

The girls enjoy watching other routines and studying different stlyes for themselves.

For more information on the upcoming competition, contact the high school office at 299-1695.

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