Cheer squad ready to show school spirit

As of Monday, a rash of cheers could be heard echoing in the halls of the high school, as Moffat County High School cheerleading team coach Suzy Lord took the 14 members of this year's squad through its moves.

For nearly three hours a day, the squad has been practicing its new routines. The arduous program will continue until the first day of school.

"We're just adding in our new routines, and are going over some of our old stuff for the new kids on our team," Lord said.

The cheer squad actually started hashing away the 2001 season's routines much earlier than Monday, traveling and hosting team camps in July.

The squad held a team camp at the beginning of July, which was used to train young cheerleaders from around the community, and gave the squad a chance to get some early-season practice of its own.

After the hometown camp, the squad traveled to Laramie, Wyo., for the Universal Cheerleader Association's Cheer Camp, held at the University of Wyoming. The camp, held July 17-21, is a major source of the team's routines, and this year a major source of cheerleader pride when the team walked away with a trophy for Superior Squad.

"The trophy we won is pretty big to us, since we've worked hard to raise the level for our cheer squad," senior cheerleader Melissa Winslow said.

The Moffat County cheer squad picks up many of its new routines from the Cheer Camp, since it is the only place they travel to.

"We'll draw pretty heavily from the camp, since it's our only chance to learn new things," Lord said. "It's good that we go there, because we'll use a lot of what we learned after football season when we have to start designing our own routines. Really, the camp is our only outside source for new material."

The squad is looking to incorporate more advanced cheers and stunts this year, including an increased emphasis on aerial stunts. Such stunts as the twist-out cradle and the liberty will be seen on the sidelines of the football field, and at the ends of the hardwood this year.

"We, the squad, will work toward more dynamic stunting, and keep moving into more advanced routines," Lord said. "I think the crowd will be impressed with what we have to offer this season."

The varsity cheerleaders will not have much time off once the season starts, since they will cheer at every home game in the fall and winter seasons, and will also travel to every away game for varsity football and basketball.

They will also cheer competitively at regionals in November and at the State Cheerleader competition Dec. 8-9.

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