David Pressgrove: Extra cheer
When it comes to covering the Moffat County High School sports teams, I consider myself well-traveled.
But when it comes to mileage and dedication this year, two Moffat County juniors have put me to shame.
Catherine Compton and Grace Henderson went to every football game in the fall. They’ve continued the tradition by going to as many basketball games as they possibly could this winter.
“We’ve tried to make every game,” Henderson said. “After the Rawlins, (Wyo.,) game in football, we decided that we were going to go to every one. We haven’t made all of the basketball games, but football was easier to get to.”
They showed me up by making the eight-hour trip down to Cortez for the last football game of the year. I stayed at home.
“(The Cortez game) was a sad game because it was the last for the seniors,” Compton said. “Some of them just sat on the field and stared.”
At times, other friends have accompanied them, but the duo of Catherine and Grace has been the most consistent.
After basketball games this winter, the three of us have hung out while waiting for the guys to come out of the locker room.
The wait has been rather entertaining. They like to try to climb the walls in the hallway. They can complete the climb together by putting their backs together and using their feet to inch up the wall. Their ability is probably a carryover from their acrobatics on the cheerleading team.
Once the players and coaches emerge, they all receive some sort of encouragement from the girls.
When “good game” started to get old, Henderson coined her own phrase. Now players are greeted with “awesome blossom.”
Their dedication truly fulfills the term “cheerleaders.” They literally lead the cheering during and after games.
A few times, the girls have been given the cold shoulder after a loss, but they understand.
“The Steamboat and Rifle losses in football were tough,” Henderson said. “But they know we’ll be there no matter what.”
When they walk down the hall to congratulate or console, I think it creates a classic American image. It’s like something Norman Rockwell would have painted — a battered and exhausted athlete leaning against the wall while a chipper, smiling cheerleader tries to encourage him.
Catherine’s dad, Rod, helps with KRAI’s Bulldog broadcasts so sometimes they catch a ride with him. Other times, they go with friends, like when they rode with sophomore Cassie Rogers and her mom to Cortez.
“There are so many memories,” Compton said. “It’s definitely something we’ll always look back at when we’re older and smile about.”
From what I’ve seen, they help some of the guys smile already.
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