Coach Heather Higgins said the 2009 cheer team will have more cheers this year to pump up the crowd and team at football games. Pictured are, front row, from left, Marisa Johnson, Tawni Brenner, Chandra Griffin, Kristina McLeslie, Morgan Carrico, and Jasmine Higgins. Back row, from left are Jordan Porter, Ashley Wells, Kayla Swanson, Tiara Searle, Clara Thompson and Patience Terry.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Coach Heather Higgins said the 2009 cheer team will have more cheers this year to pump up the crowd and team at football games. Pictured are, front row, from left, Marisa Johnson, Tawni Brenner, Chandra Griffin, Kristina McLeslie, Morgan Carrico, and Jasmine Higgins. Back row, from left are Jordan Porter, Ashley Wells, Kayla Swanson, Tiara Searle, Clara Thompson and Patience Terry.

Cheerleaders hope for more community involvement

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Tawni Brenner works with her fellow Moffat County High School cheer team members. The cheer team is sporting 15 members with three returning seniors.

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Moffat County High School junior Patience Terry watches fellow cheerleaders practice at the high school. The team is preparing for the Sept. 4 varsity football game versus Berthoud High School at home.

At a glance

Coach: Heather Higgins, first year

Total cheerleaders: 15

Returning seniors: 3

— Heather Higgins doesn't have to drum up enthusiasm when it comes to cheerleading.

Her daughter, Jasmine, has been a cheering staple at Moffat County High School football games, and this year, Heather is helping the team.

"I've been a cheer mom for a long time," she said. "I helped out in middle school with my daughter, and I have been around it for a little bit."

With Jasmine entering her senior year, Heather, a preschool teacher at Ridgeview Elementary School, said she wanted to step in and coach.

"A big reason for me coaching is because it's my daughter's last year," she said.

Higgins replaced Naomi Villard as Moffat County High School cheerleading coach, and she already has big plans for the program.

"We're just trying to get the student body more involved, and getting them to back our girls up is important," Higgins said. "We'll have more new and exciting things for them, too."

The team started practicing daily in August to prepare for the upcoming year.

The extra practice has included working with new cheers and dances for this year, Higgins said.

"It should be exciting with the new dances and cheers," she said. "There will be lots of fun things at the football games."

The team cheers at football games in the fall and basketball games in the winter.

"We want to get everyone excited to be at our home games," she said.

The team has a good mix of old and new cheerleaders, Higgins said.

"I have, as of right now, 15 girls," she said. "I have nine returning girls, including three seniors."

Those seniors include Jasmine Higgins, Tawni Brenner and Tiara Searle.

Seniors have been leading the younger girls in practices, Higgins said.

"They are working hard to pump up the crowd," she said. "They're working hard to get the community more excited to get up and cheer."

Higgins said her team has been putting in extra work to make home games a little more special.

"Mainly with the half-times," she said. "Expect them to be bigger and better."

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