By Vicky Gao.

As the cheer season draws to a close, hopes reign high for more openings to ramp up school spirit and new relationships to be forged next year. After tryouts varsity and junior varsity teams for the 2021-2022 school year were posted last week.

Official cheer tryouts took place Friday, March 26. They’re a week-long event much more familiar and in-person this year than the video tryouts over quarantine last school year. Senior cheerleaders oversee and help out all throughout the week, a tradition that was able to be continued this year.

“It’s almost like a reward we get after all our years of cheer,” senior co-captain Carlee Lamb said. “We help out the girls and tell them what to do and help them to be confident to try out. It was a great way to close out senior year.”

Cheerleaders who were trying out emphasized their thankfulness for the seniors’ help and guidance throughout the process.

“The seniors do a really good job helping everyone and making sure they feel good about tryouts,” Walters said. “I think everyone had a pretty good chance at the team.”

A big factor of looking forward to next year includes considering seniors who will graduate this year and pass on the role of leadership to the to-be seniors who will be stepping up.

“The people that are going to be seniors next year are a really good group,” Lamb said. “They’ve always been leaders on the team. I have no doubt that they will do a great job leading the team.”

Cheerleaders hope for a steady and more familiar season next year and contemplate what they have achieved this tumultuous year.

“I think we’ve all grown together as a team especially this year, because we’ve had to overcome things that weren’t necessarily fun,” sophomore Ava Walters said. “Team bonding has been important because we’ve had to focus on coming together.”

Though cheer travelled to out of town games, it was among the only normal things they participated in among cancellations of many regular events due to the pandemic, such as pep rallies. Cheerleaders worked twice as hard to keep up morale and school spirit for students and staff but also within the reduced capacity crowds that sometimes hold only parents who have come to support their child.

“It’s been a little hard with COVID, since a lot of things have been taken away,” varsity cheerleader Anna Tidmore junior, said. “Not having pep rallies and not being able to do events to raise school spirit and trying to get people to stay involved – that has been difficult.”

In terms of coronavirus restrictions, the team cheered with masks on and maintained social distancing in some circumstances, challenging things that required continual adaptation throughout the year.

“We’ve just had to make things up as we go and just go with the flow and follow the new guidelines that kept coming out,” varsity cheer coach Amanda Golding said. “We had a great group of girls, they were very appreciative of what they did get to do. They realized it was what it was and that we had to follow rules, and that’s what we did. I was really proud of them. Our greatest accomplishment was perseverance, just being able to adapt to all the new stuff. Staying positive, and just being grateful for the things we got to do.”

The 2021-2022 Varsity cheerleaders are: Charlie Anderson, Gentri Anderson, Tarynn Bridge, Kynsie Hancock, Berkley Paul, Jena Perez, Riley Reese, Mary Caroline Rose, Abigail Salisbury, Ella Snead, Karlie Stotts, Anna Tidmore, Trinity Valenzuela, Ava Walters,

The 2021-2022 Junior Varsity cheerleaders are: Emerale Cortez, Citlaly Dehoyos, Anela Garcia, Kaycee Glass, Riley Hickson, Claire King, Anna McMillion, Carrie Mercer, Emma Puente, Sarah Richert.