Cheering through a pandemic

Cheerleading team continues to prepare for upcoming season despite social distancing

Due+to+cheer+tryouts+being+delayed+as+well+as+practices%2C+the+coaches+have+been+posting+dances+and+cheers%2C+along+with+conditioning+on+the+Band+app+to+keep+the+girls+ready+for+the+season+to+start.+%22I+think+the+preparation+we+are+giving+the+girls+now%2C+will+be+beneficial+to+them+when+its+time+to+tryout%2C%22+Chastain+said.+%22We%27re+touching+base+multiple+times+a+week%2C+they+have+material+to+learn%2C+workouts+to+complete%2C+and+little+daily+activities+to+keep+them+on+the+right+track.%22+With+the+pandemic+still+continuing%2C+tryouts+could+be+delayed+until+June.+%0A

Photo by Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla

Due to cheer tryouts being delayed as well as practices, the coaches have been posting dances and cheers, along with conditioning on the Band app to keep the girls ready for the season to start. "I think the preparation we are giving the girls now, will be beneficial to them when its time to tryout," Chastain said. "We're touching base multiple times a week, they have material to learn, workouts to complete, and little daily activities to keep them on the right track." With the pandemic still continuing, tryouts could be delayed until June.

Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla, Online editor

With the continuation of COVID-19, Nebraska schools have closed for the remainder of the year. Because of this, spring tryouts and practices for various sports such as football, dance and cheer have been postponed or canceled.

Having these tryouts put on hold means that the teams will not be able to start preparing for the next season. 

Despite not being able to physically meet, the cheer squad has been able to communicate through the Band app. 

“We’ve had to move everything completely online from our tryout meeting, to the open gym and clinics we host before the actual tryout,” Varsity sponsor Kelsey Chastain said. “We have had to improvise and come up with ways to keep the girls physically ready and to help prepare the girls who are new and looking to try out.”

This is an app that the program had been using since the previous year to plan out games as well as team dinners and bondings. On here, the coaches have been posting calendars with various workouts along with band chants and dances for the girls to work on to keep them active. 

“I personally think it has affected the season in a positive way so far,” sophomore Brenna Matthews said. ”With the Band app that the coaches have created, we are able to keep working and it gives everyone more time to work on tumbling at home while improving standing skills and jumps.”

For those who have never done cheer, this is a way for them to get more exposure to what the high school sport is all about. 

“Due to tryouts being postponed, I think they could have a disadvantage because all gyms are closed and they can’t really practice the skills that they need to,” junior Brynn Vanis said.” They will not be able to be watched as closely for potential by our coaches.”

Usually right after the season begins, the three squads go to a cheer camp in June with their routine and cheers that they have been practicing from the start. While at this camp, the girls also start to prepare for the upcoming football season.

For the teams this year, they will not get the extra preparation for their routines or the start of the new season. 

“For now we’re not sure what will happen this year with camp but we are hoping for the best and creating a backup plan if the traditional overnight camp is not possible,” Chastain said. ” Our teams will most likely be formed almost two months later than usual which means we are getting a late start with training we put in during spring and the summer months. We know that these are extraordinary circumstances, we are doing the best we can with what we have right now, and we’ll hit the ground running as soon as we’re able to.”

After this pandemic, the cheer team hopes to come back together to be able to continue and finish out their season despite not knowing how tryouts for the season will work and when they will be.