Wasco High School held three cheer clinics earlier this week. Over 80 athletes showed up to learn the dances and routines they will need to perform at the tryouts on Saturday, March 25.
Hailey Coyle is the head cheer advisor. She said the clinics helped the girls prepare for the judges. Almost 50 athletes will be selected for the junior and varsity cheer squads.
Anyone was welcome to attend the clinics regardless of experience. However, an athlete must have attended at least one day of the clinics to try out.
She said that at the clinics, the students did really well.
"They picked up on the dance routines, which are not easy. The coaches make them difficult so that they have to learn the material and work hard."
Freshman Stephani Ruiz said there were many things she liked about the clinics.
"One thing that I liked the most is that I made friends and they were so positive and confident about the dance. I also like that the coaches are there for us when we need them."
She said she gave it her all.
"I was being positive and trying my best. I also pushed myself to get the routine down. And I will give it my all at tryout day and hope I make the team."
On the day of tryouts, the judges will look for overall spirit, technique, enthusiasm and students who are coachable and willing to learn more about the sport.
The judges for the tryouts will be composed of WHS alum cheer team members and from surrounding areas.
It will be competitive.
"From the clinics, we have some talented athletes. We wish we could keep them all because they are capable of being on the team," Coyle said.
She said that after the first clinic, you could tell the girls practiced because they came back strong on the second day.
"It was exciting to see their skills improve in just one day. They knew the dance more and looked more confident in themselves."
Those selected will be announced after the tryouts later in the evening.
Varsity coach will be Sydney Bocker, a teacher at WHS and cheer alumni. The junior varsity coach will be Victoria Bernal, who works at Palm Avenue Middle School and is also an alumnus.
The girls are athletes.
"They work hard to achieve their goals just like any other athlete. They work out. Cheer is a physical and demanding sport," Coyle said.
They are also student-athletes and in order to participate, must have at least a 2.0 GPA.
"We have study halls for them. We want them to succeed in their futures, which is what we are training them for."
Coyle said through the sport, the girls are learning responsibility, dedication and teamwork.
"We hold them accountable to our rules because we want them to be well-respected young adults when they come out of our program. Whether it is for a job interview or college, we want them to be confident for whatever they do after high school."
The girls build close relationships.
"They spend a lot of time together. After they make the team, they start practicing in June all summer and through fall. It's a year-long sport, and they get to know each other very well, creating memories that in turn cause them to build friendships that will last a lifetime."
The teams will cheer at football, volleyball, basketball, soccer and wrestling games.
"We are also out there in the community participating in parades, elementary school events and different things like that."