Lovett-Westminster Halftime Show

The varsity cheerleading team: they are the ones who run the show behind-the-scenes, bringing the excitement to the pep rallies and getting the crowd roaring on Friday nights. The team consists of sixteen girls that put on amazing shows every week, and their coach Kaci Roberts helps them bring it all together.

The team has had a great year so far, cheering during the halftime show at every home football game and performing at pep rallies for the pigskin picnic and homecoming. The precise choreography coupled with the flips and turns are all products of the ideas from individual cheerleaders. The three captains Maia Perry, Landis Collins, and Julia Grady make the dances for the entire team to learn for their performances.

“Its definitely very stressful to create the dances,” said Collins. “It might look good with three of us [captains] but we don’t know how it will look with all 16 of us doing it. We’ve had to change things based on that.”

Some of the choreography is done outside of school which makes it even harder on the captains that want to put on a great performance.

“We try to prepare as much as we can during practice and critique it,” said coach Kaci Roberts. “There is a little work outside of practice that the captains put on. They add that little extra stress, but I think that they really like it”

One of the most notable cheerleading traditions is the joint halftime show with the Lovett cheerleaders during the football game. There were some doubts as to whether the collaboration would happen this year with a lack of time to prepare. The two squads settled that the two schools would perform together but without stunts because they thought there would only be enough time to choreograph a dance but not enough to plan the stunts. Only a few days before the game, the teams planned to come together to do a full halftime performance with dancing and stunting.

“We’re really happy that it all worked out,” said Roberts. “At the beginning of the year everything was so crazy and we couldn’t see this far in advance, but now that the time is here things are a little bit more under control.”

The Lovett game is always a great experience for the cheerleaders as many of the girls are friends and know each other. What makes it even more special is that it will be the last home game for the seniors.

“I love getting to work with Lovett and am really looking forward to it,” said senior Grace Kelecki. “My teammates and I are friends with some of the girls there.”

While the performance during the Lovett-Westminster game will look amazing, there are challenges that come with two teams having to put together a performance in such a short amount of time.

“It gets a little challenging and the captains do a great job of working together outside of practice,” said Roberts. “At practice its all hands on deck. Everyone has to be focused on making a great halftime show.”

Furthermore, there are so many little things the cheerleaders do that may go unnoticed. The banners that the football team runs through every Friday are the work of the cheerleaders. They are actually all made before the school year even begins. A lot of time and effort goes into creating the elaborate banners on display for the entire school.

“In the week before school, each day consists of six hours of banner painting and then two hours of practice afterwards,” said Collins.

The cheerleaders put in a tremendous amount of effort for the season before the school year even gets under way.

“That week before school is a lot of work,” said Kelecki. “The banner painting [is tough], [but] then practice can get even more difficult.”

Homecoming can be a very exciting but stressful time for the cheerleaders. They performed with the JV team at the homecoming pep really and put on an amazing performance for the upper school students and faculty. Many said it was one of the best they have ever seen from the cheerleaders.

“We hit all of our stunts, but we were having problems right before hitting one of them,” said Collins. “Homecoming is always stressful so hitting it is really nice.”

Despite homecoming’s excitement, the cheerleaders stay focused on performing during the game.

“The entire week of homecoming was very exciting,” said Kelecki. “We had to make sure to stay focus so that we put on a great performance for the pep rally and the football game.

As the football season progresses, the team is looking towards their future performances.

“Lovett this year is going to be interesting this year because we will only have two practices with them,” said Collins. “That will be our last home game unless we have another one in the playoffs.”

But for all football players and cheerleaders, a performing at the state championship would be an amazing experience.

“I am definitely looking forward to playoffs,” said Roberts. “It would be great to go to the dome and be a part of the cheerleading. That would be amazing.”