ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Changes on horizon for cheerleading squad

All 25 of the high school cheerleading coaches in Montgomery County voted to join in the state cheerleading system for the upcoming school year.

In addition to the change of clinic and tryout dates, there is also going to be a newly established junior varsity squad. Major changes will come to the staffing of both the new JV and varsity teams as well, although the system changes for competitions only apply to the varsity squad, and will not be applied for JV. This was decided to make MCPS more competitive county in cheerleading. “I don’t really like the change it seems to similar to allstar cheer because it’s really competitive,” sophomore Avery Marsteller said.

Arts coach resource teacher, Stephanie Labbe will continue to coach, alongside new coaches, Jesse Lechner and Carrie Van Berger-Lechner who are the current owners of Shockwave Allstars cheer and dance in Rockville. The three of them will be the head coaches of the varsity squad, while “JV COACH” will be solely be coaching the JV squad, “This is a big change for Montgomery County, and we are aware,” Shockwave Allstars wrote in an email to it’s current cheerleaders.

Cheerleading will join all other sports teams and will be holding their two clinic days, and one tryout day, in early August, as opposed to the usual three days in late May. This will affect athletes who travel or go to summer camp over the summer, as the tryouts may affect vacation dates. This also gives the athletes the entire summer to train and improve skills before their tryout in August. “It feels really different not having our tryouts in May like the poms did this year but I have a lot more time to prepare now,” freshman Ashley Slud said.

Joining the state cheerleading system gives the athletes more opportunities to compete against the other division one schools, and they can advance to regionals and then on to states if they does well at the annual county competition. Another addition to the competitive side is the increase in importance of tumbling skills. This means that during tryouts athletes are going to be tested more on their tumbling abilities rather than stunting, jumps and dance, increasing the possibilities of the team’s chances of winning and advancing overall. “Like all other high school sports, cheerleading has now become much more skill-based, and certain skills will be required for the more competitive county schools,” Shockwave said in an email to it’s current cheerleaders.

Emily Eichberg

Commons Editor

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