Cheerleading preps for new year

Daphne Yu

Dancing with stars: Freshman Kristin Davis practices her tryout dance Monday, April 23. Photo by Asa Lory

The number 33 proved to be lucky for next year’s Bruin cheerleaders.

For the first time, some of these will be freshmen next year. The school made the change to include one of the freshmen, Gabby McTague, who made the team because after next year, freshmen will be part of the high school.

“I don’t see why some of the freshmen are allowed to make the team because they won’t be at our school next year,” sophomore Madison Wright said. “They won’t know who they are cheering for, besides Rock Bridge. But not the student athletes.”

Before students could start the tryouts, for the first time, Coach Jessica Kendrick looked at teacher recommendations and grades to determine eligibility to try out.

The 40 who made this preliminary cut went through a three-day process before the fourth day, when tryouts were held on April 26.

A panel of seven judges, some of whom are cheerleaders from the University of Missouri-Columbia, judged the girls on an eight-eight-count dance, a 20 second sideline cheer, standing tumbling, toe touch or jump of choice and a stunt.

They were scored on the cleanness of their motions, execution of their dance and motions, overall attitude at the tryout and technical skill.

“It’s a hard thing to walk in front of a panel of judges and be judged,” said Seth Colliver, assistant coach of the Bruin cheer team.

He said next to skill level, the challenge for the 40 girls trying out is to be genuinely happy while performing and to make the judges feel entertained.

Colliver said cheerleading is also about representing the school and giving it a good name.

“As a cheerleader you are a representative of your school,” Colliver said. “In terms of responsibilities, we’re asking that they be like adults and that they represent the school well both in and out of uniform. We are looking for fantastic students, fantastic representatives, and fantastic people.”

The 13 girls who made the varsity competition squad will spend the summer practicing and preparing to defend their first place winning streak at the Moberly Area Community College Regional competition. Kendrick has not determined if the JV squad will also attend.

“Regionals was fun last year because we got to work really hard,” sophomore Lyndsi Streeter said. “The experience of it was fun because we ended up winning.”

With the 2011–2012 cheerleaders having won the state championship this season, next year’s outcome will hopefully live up to their standards.

“I think that next year will depend on how well us girls bond together and how bad they actually want to keep our first place trophy going,” Wright said. “This is a new group of girls and it will all depend on if we are a team.”

By Kayla Armentrout