The Eagles cheer squad did not come to play this year, having staged one of the most notorious battles the district has ever seen during the basketball season opener against Garfield. So, when it was time to pick new members for next year’s squad, the team wanted nothing short of the best.
Tryouts ran from the May 7-11, and candidates used that week to learn different dance motions, kicks and jumps along with new cheers.
Being able to memorize cheers does not make one an automatic shoo-in. There are other facets candidates must master before being invited onto the squad.
“We look at the motions and fluidity of the cheers as well as their school spirit and attitude,” said senior Vanaya Scott, one of the former co-captains. “We also look for patience in themselves, the coaches and the team when learning the cheers.”
Candidates are judged on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. The points are tallied for a total score. A “satisfactory” earns them a spot on the team.
“They get points based off how loud they are, when the say the words and if they are said at the right time, using proper technique while doing jumps and kicks and if they do the cheer sequence correctly,” said Scott.
Sophomore Mai-Lee Tran was one of the 25 hopefuls who made the team.
“I love to cheer people on,” she said. “I like to think of myself as a motivational person and a good leader.”
Tran said she’s most excited to wear the uniform and represent the school.
While lots of new members are joining the team, a number of seniors are saying goodbye.
“We had our problems, but they were like my second family,” said senior Abigail Dahlstrom, who’s been a cheerleader since her freshman year. “All of my best high school memories are with the cheer squad.”
Assistant coach Ariel Torrey said she was excited to make Cleveland a stand-out school in the district.
“This year’s group had so much energy,” she said. “They brought so many memories like the battles against Garfield and Franklin.”
The new squad will attend camp over the summer in preparation for the upcoming year.