By Marin Murray.

Before the announcement of a new head coach, the cheer team for the 2022-2023 school year was revealed on March 23.

The new coach for next season will be Taylor Claxton, who currently teaches geometry and Pre-AP geometry at ATEMS High School. She will continue teaching at ATEMS 1st-6th period and come to Abilene High to coach for 8th period.

“I am so excited to take on the new role of the Abilene High School varsity cheerleading coach,” Claxton said. “Gymnastics and cheerleading have been a part of my life since I was a little girl. It will be so fun coaching all of the girls and being a part of both ATEMS and Abilene High.”

Before Claxton was announced, a week-long cheer tryouts consisted of three clinics which took place on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. A mock-tryout was held on Wednesday, with the final tryout being held on that Friday.

“I was really excited because I’m really excited about the new team, and I was excited about making varsity for another year,” sophomore Tarynn Bridge said. “I really like all of the girls on the team. We all get along really well. It’s just a really fun atmosphere to be able to be a part of.”

Next year’s squad features seven seniors and one junior, while the other six will be sophomores, along with two senior mascots. Next year, there will be both a Champ and a Champette, after only being only to have Champ this year.

“I love going to the football games and watching them and school spirit and stuff, so I’m excited to be a part of it,” one of next year’s mascots Molly Bessent said. “It’s something that I never thought I would be able to do, so I’m excited about just getting out of my comfort zone and being crazy and fun. I’m excited. It’s going to be fun.”

The following girls are on the varsity squad: Sophie Abril, Tarynn Bridge, Emerale Cortez, Citaly Dehoyas. Rayven Fields, Kynsie Hancock, Claire King, Peyton McMillan, Anna McMillion, Jenamiah Perez, Riley Reese, Abigail Salisbury, Ella Snead and Karlie Stotts.

The two mascots are Molly Bessent and Hope Fambrough.

The following girls are on the junior varsity squad: Neveah Barnett, Anela Garcia, Brooklyn Johnson, Addison Lee, Abbie Mansker, Eriqa Otey, Audrie Perez, Emma Puente, Sarah Richert and Zoey Wallace.