Cheerleading team starts season successfully

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The cheer team celebrates winning the spirit stick.

Riana Watkins-Martin

Take a glance at the picture to the right. Now direct your attention to that small object being proudly displayed by the two grinning cheerleaders near the front of the group. To many, that object may appear to be merely a simple four feet long yellow stick.

That “yellow stick,” however, is actually is a declaration, one that proclaims that the FHC cheer team’s  hard work has finally paid off. That “yellow stick” makes a bold statement, warning everyone that this is it. The time has finally arrived for the 2015 cheer season to begin and this time… they’re holding nothing back.

“Our expectations are sky high,” said cheer captain Hannah Parshall. ” Every girl on the team is ready to work hard and give everything their all. Even if that means going over things multiple times in order to perfect them. We just want everyone to realize that we do put in a lot effort and this isn’t just a free-for-all kind of sport.”

With every perfectly executed tumble and each dauntless flip into the air, it may seem as if these various stunts are effortless. That’s only because they make it look easy, though.

With summer practices beginning as early as 8 AM each morning and coming to an end only after several hours of running through exuberant chants and practicing each individual routine over and over again , the cheer team’s tenacity and perseverance is commendable. In the end, the flawless final result suddenly makes everything worth it .

“Our hard work finally paid off a couple of weeks ago,” senior Ally Destefano said. “It got us our first award that the cheer team has had in six years!”

Destefano is referring to the infamous “yellow stick” they were given, one that was awarded to them over the summer at a cheer camp in order to recognize them for their obvious dedication. After pushing themselves to pure exhaustion each night during the camp in order to prepare for upcoming evaluations, the spirit stick was proudly handed over to  Mattie Nall and Hannah Parshall, the team’s captains.

And things are only getting better from here on out.

The team of 21 girls constantly encourage one another to do harder, bigger, and better chants on a daily basis, pushing each other to be the best they can possibly be. Through the sweat and tears that they have shared, the resulting friendship they have formed with one another is both indisputable and invaluable.

“I just really want this year’s varsity team to have a strong, cohesive bond instead of just being a group of girls who happen to cheer together,” said junior Izzy Berry. “I hope our program continues to grow into something amazing.”

And boy, has it grown. The cheer team has focused a lot of their attention on bringing fresh, innovative stunts and cheers to the table while simultaneously looking for new ways to create excitement among the crowd. Their primary goal is aimed at pumping everybody, including the players, up.

All the progress the cheer team has made within a short period of time due  to the continuous effort they put into improving themselves is apparent. The spirit stick, however, simply serves as a subtle reminder.

“Our team is a team that doesn’t give up,” Destefano boldly stated, when asked about their recent success. “We are extremely dedicated to becoming the best cheer team FHC has ever had.”