Cheer Preview: There’s No “I” in Team

Parker Smith, Production Editor

The 2018-2019 Manitou Springs High School Cheerleading team is full of excitement and chemistry between the coaches and players. This new season differs from what one might see at other sports competitions. The competition season is based around impressing judges to beat out other teams. The sport is largely based around doing dangerous activities that could result in injury. The cheerleaders have to put their trust in their teammates to safely execute maneuvers. For this reason, the team is bound together to ensure the safety of the other members.

This upcoming season is expected to draw attention as the team has been working hard to become a power in the cheer world. “This year, we have improved much more than last year. We have started to work together as one and [I’d say] it’s coming along pretty well,” Bri Anderson (11). Anderson– one of the captains– believes the team has a real possibility of competing well and placing high. The team has had to endure through injuries in the past such as one member, Maddison Kelly (11), who had a concussion during the training season. The team was able to push past the challenge and further strengthen the bond between them.

This year, the team has been relatively lucky in having only one injury throughout their training and were able to help Kelly catch up in terms of drills and routines. “When you think about other seasons, when we had injuries or problems with eligibility, the team never really helped the people get back to where they had to be, which just dragged the team down. That’s why I think the team will be much better. We’re a tight-knit group,” Atraya Christiansen (11).

Even off the mat, the team maintains a tight structure, sharing lunch together and even a few inside jokes. The team seems to be improving all the time; even between routines, they figure out new ways to improve. The girls are working towards reaching their team goals with the amount of effort they’ve put in over the training period.  The girls have a positive outlook on the season and are feeling confident in themselves and the team as a whole.

“We’re a tight-knit group.”- Atraya Christiansen

The seniors of the team have a responsibility above the other players to lead the team and make sure they leave on a high note. Thus far, they have achieved this goal: they have been a key factor in keeping the team together as well as the amount of trust they have for each other. This needs to remain in place if the team expects to succeed in the future; which is why the seniors must ensure the juniors are ready to lead the team and be that key factor.

Last year, the team struggled with morale and drive. There were a few injuries that really hurt the team as well as issues between the different members. From last year’s team, this year’s team looks more professional and seem to be becoming a force to be dealt with when it comes to competing.

It’s impressive how far the team has come even with having new freshmen joining the team. Freshmen have always been a wild card when it comes to the cheer team because the middle school doesn’t provide a competitive team. There are people that have done competitive training that is similar or relatively similar to the expectations of the cheer teams; however, there are also people that have never done cheer or anything related to it. In the past, this has caused issues, as some cheerleaders are not quite ready for the competitive nature of the competition. This year, it seems that everyone is committed to the bettering of the freshmen in their preparation for Varsity– or if they are already on varsity, their overall improvement.

That’s not to say the freshmen aren’t a driving factor in the competition season. They learn and pick up on how competitions work and apply it to their own development so they have a better understanding for next time.

The team has improved over time and they have reached a point this season that makes them a formidable foe for others. They have great potential this season.