As summer comes to a close and the Wildcats return for another school year, the cheerleading team begins to prepare for football season. After winning the Jamz national championship for four years in a row, the squad is ready for another successful year.
Practices are three days a week after school in order to et in shape for the fast-approaching season. “We usually start with a ten to fifteen minute warm up with basic stretches and motions to make sure we are sharp and clean,” says senior captain Anna Kolb. Kolb and her fellow co-captains, Nicole Calise, Sara Cullinane, and Chloe Borgese lead the warm-up to help boost team morale.
After the stretching, “we do a good leg warm-up since legs are a big part for us,” states Kolb. Strenuous arm and leg conditioning is vital for the workout process in order to build leg and arm strength for stunts. Usually, the conditioning is created by coach Mary Khan and led by the senior captains.
Next, the girls do each stunt, one at a time, to prepare for routines, “Once we’ve gotten through the stunts, we warm up tumbling and jumps. When we believe we are ready, we put it all together into a two minute and thirty second routine, and repeat,” says Kolb. The team spends the rest of practice working on their routine and critiquing it. Kolb says, “We take a lot of time to break things down from scoring to make sure we can execute all the points possible, leaving little to no room for point deductions.”
Given the team’s past success, there is a lot of pressure to stay on top of their reputation. When asked what makes this LGHS team so special, Kolb responded, “We put in a lot of work, we practice and practice until we think it’s our best. As a team we really try to make everyone comfortable when asking eachother questions and being able to critique each other!”
The first football game is Friday, Sept. 7. The cheer team has been preparing for the game through hard conditioning, constructive criticism, and high spirits for weeks to be ready for their first performance of the high school season.