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Cheering for victory!

10 out of the 18 JV cheerleaders are freshmen this year.

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Cheering for victory!

Sophomore Lauren Stark executes a Lib while being supported by freshman Kaylin Day and junior Hailey Markowitz.

Sophomore Lauren Stark executes a Lib while being supported by freshman Kaylin Day and junior Hailey Markowitz.

Katie Pilas

Sophomore Lauren Stark executes a Lib while being supported by freshman Kaylin Day and junior Hailey Markowitz.

Katie Pilas

Katie Pilas

Sophomore Lauren Stark executes a Lib while being supported by freshman Kaylin Day and junior Hailey Markowitz.

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JV Cheer at Parkway South High School is more than an activity. The cheerleaders support many teams and support school spirit, but that’s all most people see, according to sophomore flyer Lauren Stark.

“People only see us at games and they don’t know how much work we put into our competition routines. A lot of what we do is not seen by anyone so they can’t understand or appreciate us,” she said.

The cheerleaders believe that they are just as important as other sports, and they want other people to realize it as well.

“Cheer could be considered a sport because we do just as much physical exertion as other sports do. Also we can do competitions and compete against other teams which is what a sport is,” Sofia Tebbe, freshman, base, said.

Though more than half of the team is made up of freshmen, this year the JV team went to Regionals and placed 5th out of 11 other JV cheer teams.

“There is also no freshman cheer squad this year which is where I started my cheer career at Parkway South. There has been one for the last 2 years. There are also more freshman on JV than in years past since I’ve been here which isn’t bad it’s just different.” Hailey Markowitz, junior, flyer, said.

Competition was a new experience for all of the freshmen on JV.

“I like JV as a competition team because it was really fun going to competition and it was one of the best experiences in my life,” Tebbe said.

Not only was it the freshmen’s first time competing, but it was also the JV coach’s first time competing in years.

Nancy Allen, JV coach, says for competition next year she will make “practices in the summer and right after tryouts, and get a choreographer.”

Cheer is the most dangerous contact sport according to Active Kids and  Geisinger Caring, and the JV cheer team have had many injuries along the way.

“There have been many injuries this year big and small. There have been a few concussions that have caused us to not perform our best at games. There was also an injury right before our Regionals competition that threw a wrench into our tumbling and our pyramid, but these injuries allowed us to adapt and become closer,” Markowitz said.

Even if cheer can be very dangerous the cheerleaders say that it is very fun.

“My favorite part of cheer is the people on my team. I feel as though if you have good people and solid connections with those people then your cheer experience will be super fun,”  Markowitz said.

The girls say they have bonded and come close to each other over the past six months of being a team together.

“My favorite part about cheer is getting to meet and become close with all these people that I wouldn’t have known otherwise,” Stark says.

Most of the girls favorite part of cheer is their teammates, even the new freshmen love meeting and becoming close to the upperclassmen on the team.

“There are upper class cheerleaders I look up to. Sammie and Hailey because they are really fun to be around and they are always so confident in what they are doing and don’t care what anyone else thinks,” Tebbe said.

Being a freshman on the cheer team is very different from being a cheerleader with the Jr. Patriots as middle school students according to Tebbe.

“In middle school we would stretch and then go practice cheers, when in high school we don’t really focus on knowing the cheers as much as we focus on hitting our stunts and working on tumbling,” she said.

The JV team also loves their varsity team, according to Markowitz.

“I am super proud of varsity for winning regionals and state! They are very talented and hardworking and they deserve the win. This is the first time that varsity has won state in 17 year!” Markowitz said.

Even though JV practices many things such as, jumps, cheers, tumbling, and of course stunting, the girls say that they still have their strengths and weaknesses.

“In my opinion, our strengths include stunting and pyramids and our weaknesses include cheers and listening to each other’s ideas, more specifically cheers means coming up with new cheers and being loud enough at games,” Markowitz said.

Allen also as her opinion of the girls strengths and weaknesses.

“They are really good at stunting what we do, but it has been hard for them to learn new more aggressive stunts,” Allen said.

The girls really like that Allen came to coach them this year.

“My favorite thing about Nancy is how she’s not only is a great coach but is also very supportive. She doesn’t put too much pressure on us and she just understands how to motivate us without being too mean. It’s nice,” Stark said.

Not only is Allen supportive but she also has brought new things to the team in Markowitz’s opinion.

“What I like most about Nancy is that she is  pushing us to be the best that we can be. She gave us binders of workouts we can do at home in order to improve our skills. She also is pushing us to try new stunts we’ve never tried and also she is coming up with new cheers for us to use at our games,” she said.

Cheer is important to all the girls and they believe it should be important to other teams they support.

“It’s equal to any other sport,” Allen said.

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Cheering for victory!