Cheer Adds Competition Squad

Vaughn Luthringer, Staff Writer

The cheer squad recently held tryouts for the 2017-2018 sideline cheer team. In addition, the squad is looking forward to a new competitive aspect to the program as a result of the California Interscholastic Association’s (CIF) new designation for high school cheerleading.

“As of next school year, all California high schools will recognize competitive cheer as a CIF high school sport,” explained head cheer coach Jannine Takahashi-Crow. “This is a good time in Campo’s career to start this cheerleading team, just because our team has been growing every year.” Additionally, the new district policy on earning physical education credit from after school athletics will now also benefit cheerleaders.

“We are not having our competitive cheer tryouts until after the school year ends,” Takahashi-Crow said. According to the coach, a”great group of girls” came out for the sideline tryouts.

“Hopefully a lot of those same girls will want to be on the competitive cheer team as well,” said Takahashi-Crow. “Everything at tryouts went really well, very smoothly. Lots of talent.”

Prior to the sideline cheer tryouts, a cheer clinic offered helped teach prospective cheerleaders routines, cheers, and stunts in preparation for tryouts. The clinic lasted for 3 days in April.

Originally, there was to be two division for the cheer program, varsity and junior varsity. “The plans about having JV and varsity were to have at least four stunt groups on Varsity and three on JV,” said current freshman and cheerleader Madeline Landau.”Varsity would cheer for the same Varsity sports, football and basketball, while JV would cheer for the JV teams of those sports, which has never happened before in Campo.”

The team was one person short of the necessary number to have multiple divisions however. “I think there’s going to be about 24 people, assuming that everyone who made the team actually plans on joining,” Landau said.

According to Landau, current cheerleaders learned the dance to be used during tryouts at the same time as incoming students in order to ensure fairness.

Landau said, “The coaches were planning stuff because they wanted the people coming in to have an equal chance of making it on the team as the people who had been there before, so we all learned everything together.”

Landau added that “It was definitely a lot harder trying out for the first time, because most of the things we used to tryout we already know, now that we’ve been doing it for a year,” she said. “We know all the cheers, we taught them [the rookies.] We know all the jumps, we know all the kicks, we know how to stunt.” Stunting involves holding or throwing cheerleaders in the air.

Freshman Genevieve McKenzie explained that her prior cheer experience helped her out significantly. “I’ve done cheer before at a competitive gym in Concord, so I know what cheer is like,” she said. “The dance was pretty difficult, but I think it was perfectly fit for my ability, but I know some people who thought it was a little too difficult for them to be able to do it.”