Give a cheer for cheerleaders

Sterling High hosts second annual cheer competition

“The competition started last year for my senior project,” competition coordinator Hannah Hendricks said. “I saw that there weren’t any competitions and I thought it was a good opportunity the girls needed.”

Even though five schools participated in last year’s competition, Hendricks had multiple schools express interest for this year’s.

“People wanted it,” Hendricks said. “I actually had a lot of schools email me, asking ‘Hey, we couldn’t come last year but we want to do it so will you put it on again,’ and I said ‘Sure.’”

When considering who to judge the competition, Hendricks contacted Kansas state’s Universal Cheerleaders Association for help.

“We contacted our state UCA representative and he booked (Katie Lewis and Trilby Bannister) for us, which was cool because Katie was Sterling’s summer camp director my junior year,” she said.

While some may disregard it as being a sport, senior co-captain Niki Dowell stresses the significance of cheer.

(Photo by Lexi Rose)
Sophomore Eryn Spangenburg steps up into an extension during the Feb. 11 cheer competition. Sterling Stunt Group Two got a II rating.

“The competition was executed very well and helped show that cheer should be taken as seriously as any other sport,” she said. “We have a coach that gets paid that takes time out of her schedule, and I really think people need to understand that.”

Like any other competitive group, unique awards were given to the squads.

“It works like a music competition,” Hendricks said. “The teams received I, II, or III ratings. We also gave out spirit sticks. It’s just a cheer thing.”

As for next year, the cheerleaders are hoping for another hosted competition.

“I think it would be good to continue doing the competition next year. Competing has allowed me to meet more people and has brought me out of my comfort zone even more than just  being in cheer would,” freshman base Avrey Holliday said.