Cheerleading squad adds four new members after competitive tryouts

Cheer tryouts took place on the April 11, where 12 students in middle school and high school competed for a spot on the Thunderbird cheerleading squad.

This squad has 10 girls including juniors Abby Ailstock, Madison Adams, Kayley Cook, Kami McComb, freshmen Kyrian Keeling and Mackenzie Wright, and eighth graders Sophie Bricker, Avery Haskett, Alea Nelson and Kylie Scherer.

“I’m super excited to have 10 cheerleaders on our squad,” cheer coach Kim Lee said.

The tryouts consisted of performing one cheer, one sideline cheer, an original cheer, along with jumps and dances. The cheerleaders were judged by Pratt Community College cheerleaders. In the past years they were judged by Barton County Community College cheerleaders.

“The hardest part of the tryout was having to make up my own motions for my original cheer,” Keeling said.

The grading scale consisted of 40 percent tryout performance, 20 percent grades and attendance, 30 percent teacher evaluation, and 10 percent pre-tryout activities. The first cheer, sideline cheer and dance were taught to them at the clinic two weeks before the tryout.

“We have a wide range of experience so we will have a lot of room to improve our skills  and learn new ones along with the incoming cheerleaders,” Ailstock said.

The teacher evaluations, grades and attendance were important because Lee wanted to know that the members  will be dependable.

“With 10 cheerleaders we can do more interesting stunts,” Lee said.

The cheer squad is looking forward to getting the banana award at the state cheer competition next year. This award is presented to the team with the most spirit in their performance.

Lee is also looking forward to bettering their fourth place finish last year at the state competition.

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