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Stomping up some spirit

‘Farm team’ for high school squad demonstrates cheer athleticism

Posted: September 15, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Updated: September 15, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Hart High School cheer leader, Tiffany Kaplan, right, leads her group of young cheer camp participants at the Hart Cheer Spirit Day held at Hart High School in Newhall on Saturday.

 

 

Dozens of prospective cheerleaders came together Saturday to learn the ropes from members of the Hart High School squad during the annual Cheer Spirit Day event in the school’s gymnasium.

Close to 50 children attended Saturday to stomp, clap and yell during the event, which is meant to both encourage an interest in cheerleading and show them some of the preliminary steps they would need to know to one day potentially join the cheerleading ranks at Hart.

“We like to introduce the young girls to cheerleading early on,” said cheer squad president Donna Schienle as children jumped and tumbled on the athletic mat in the gymnasium.

Tasha Ball, coach of the Hart varsity cheerleading team, said the early experience pays dividends later on. Some of the cheerleaders on her squad cut their teeth while participating in similar events.

“It’s just a really good opportunity to connect with younger kids in the community and let them know what Hart cheerleading is all about,” Ball said.

“Sprit Day is like our farm system, our minor leagues,” agreed Lisa Parra, an adviser for the cheer program.

During Saturday’s event, children practiced tumbling and jumps and demonstrated their newfound moves to delighted parents sitting in the stands.

Schienle said activities like those prove that cheerleading is a bit tougher athletically than some people give it credit for.

“There are plenty of people out there who say cheerleading isn’t a sport,” she said. “But while boys may throw footballs, cheerleaders throw other cheerleaders.”

Attendees of Saturday’s event will reunite with their cheerleading coaches on Oct. 18 for a football game against Golden Valley High School at College of the Canyons.

“I think that’s half of the fun,” Schienle said of the performance. “And I think that’s why we see a lot of the girls come back and participate over and over again.”

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