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The City Journals

Hunter cheer squad takes state and competes at nationals

Mar 29, 2019 11:28AM ● By Greg James

Hunter High Schools cheer squad traveled to Anaheim, Calif. to compete in the USA cheer championships. They placed third overall. (Photo courtesy of Richelle Rindlisbacher/Hunter Cheer)

By Greg James |  [email protected] 

The Hunter High School cheerleaders competed at the USA nationals after having a successful competition season.

“Our squad was super awesome this year,” Wolverines cheer coach Haley Huston said. “We had a couple of rough patches when we started this season. A lot of the team is brand new so we had a lot of hard work to learn all of the skills. When competition season rolled around we were ready.”

The Wolverines are a coed cheer team. At the state cheerleading championship they took first place in 6A sideline/timeout dance division. 

“It was a brand new category that we had never done before, so to take first was a proud coach moment,” Huston said.

Sideline cheer is designed for what a typical sports fan will see at a game. The cheers are designed to excite the crowd and elicit enthusiasm. The routines have less dancing and tumbling than a regular performance team.

The Wolverines traveled to Anaheim, California to compete at the USA nationals. They placed third in their category out of 17 teams.

“Being on the podium at a national event is great. I am very proud of them,” Huston said.

Cheer is more than just smiling faces on the sidelines. Their competition season comes after countless hours of hard work. 

“We hold high expectations for our kids. We tell them they are an ambassador of the school. The competition is a big part, but it is kind of a reward for everything else,” Huston said. “They have to keep high academic standards and are required to be at almost everything. These kids are very dedicated. Cheer is definitely not for the faint hearted. Sometimes they are at the school late five or six days a week. They dedicate everything to the school.”

Tryouts for next year’s team are scheduled to begin April 9-12.

“We are trying to advertise to have more boys next year. It is harder to get boys. Some think it is too girly, but it is a big thing. There are scholarships available. It is very athletic, too. Guys can do it,” Huston said.

There are no requirements to become a member of the team other than grades and attendance. Basic jumps and tumbling skills are helpful, but Huston said that most of all a good character is all that is required.

This season's head cheerleader is Jennie Williams and the co-captain is Mary Burke.

Huston said both of these leaders take their schooling seriously. Jennie has carried a 3.78 cumulative grade point average and Mary’s is 3.5. 

This year started with a handful of participants who did not have much cheer experience, but Hutson said their dedication to practice and drive to improve was impressive.  

“We had to start from ground zero and teach them how to stunt and the basics of tumbling. From tryout time it has been a big progression,” Huston said. “I have been really proud of them. All of the things they have accomplished shows the time and commitment they put in. I truly think these kids are amazing. They have so much drive and dedication to represent themselves and the school. They have learned a lot and are great people, too.”