The Wasco High School Tigers cheerleading team brings enthusiasm and fun to each game while inspiring the new generation of cheerleaders.
Recently the Tigers hosted a camp for 131 Wasco Bengals cheerleaders. It was a day of teaching the younger girls dance, cheer and stunt routines, and was an example of Tiger spirit and leadership.
Hailey Coyle is the WHS cheer advisor. She has previously served as a judge for the Bengals at their tryouts.
"I like to judge because those girls are going to be our future cheerleaders. They are training to be Tigers one day. I like to become familiar with all of them, helping them learn the dances they will perform with our cheerleaders at one of our football games,"Coyle said in an interview recently..
The Bengals cheerleading team is composed of 2nd through 8th graders. At the camp, they honed their skills with the help of the Tigers.
They enjoy working with the Bengals and are happy to share their knowledge of the sport.
The Tigers include grades 9th thru 12th. It is one team with three squads, including freshman, junior varsity and varsity.
At the games, the Tigers dance, cheer, perform stunts and sideline routines, which are synchronized chants.
They cheer for the football, volleyball and cross country teams in the fall. In the winter, they cheer for the boys and girls basketball, wrestling and soccer teams.
"We cheer almost all year long," Coyle said.
The Tigers practice three times a week, Tuesday through Thursday. "They get up at 6 a.m. so we can practice in the morning before it gets too hot," said Coyle.
Their season kicks off in September, with home games on Sept. 1 for the freshman team, and on Sept. 2 for the junior varsity and varsity teams.
A key goal for the Tiger cheerleaders is to encourage the crowd and get them excited so they can cheer on and motivate the players.
"We are there to support the different sports teams whether they win or lose, though we always hope for a Tiger win at the end of the day," Coyle said .
The Tiger cheerleaders play an essential role.
"They are important because they encourage the athletes to do their best and bring positive energy. The team works really hard, and it's nice to see the audience encouraging them as well," Coyle said.
Tigers gain life skills from the experience.
"It teaches them responsibility, and we train them for their future. They learn to be on time and follow directions. In the long run, we know it will help when they apply for a job and for when they are hired."
They also learn teamwork and commitment.
"We hold them to the rules we put forth. They are all respectful students in class, and they must maintain their grades and work hard in school so they can have fun on the field and enjoy their extracurricular activities."
The Tiger team builds special bonds with each other.
"We assign a 'sister' to the freshman squad where a varsity cheerleader mentors her during the season and throughout the school year," said Coyle.
To pay for their uniforms and other related expenses, the Tigers host different fundraisers starting in April. They recently organized a car wash. In the past, they have sold gift cards to various restaurants, along with branded travel mugs and t-shirts, and have sold advertisements in their game programs.
"The support from the community has been amazing. We invite everyone to attend one of our games and see these Tiger girls in action rooting for our teams and creating a festive time for all,"
The Tigers are looking for sponsors, and Coyle encourages those interested to call 661-758-7400 ext. 50116 and ask for the Associated Student Body accountant.