NDB Spirit Squad holds mid-season winter tryouts for the first time


The Catalyst / Desea Bond

NDB Spirit Squad coaches pin up flyers announcing the new winter tryouts.

For the first time in NDB history, the Spirit Squad held mid-season winter tryouts to recruit new athletes for the teams. These tryouts were held in the small gym on three separate days throughout the first week of November. With the program already having small teams and multiple injuries, expanding the teams and offering another opportunity to athletes to try out, opened many new doors for the Spirit Squad.

The NDB Spirit Squad clinics and tryouts usually only occur during the first week of May, since the season begins over the summer as a year-round sport. This makes commitment on the Spirit Squad much greater than the seasonal sports at NDB. Recruiting new members was found to be difficult, as being the middle of the Fall Semester and sports seasons, many are already short with time.

On the first day of tryouts, the attendees learned a tryout routine that they would continue to practice and perfect for the upcoming tryout date at the end of the week. Students trying out for the cheer team learned a cheer routine, while pom auditionees learned a pom dance.

The following day of tryouts, the prospective members had the opportunity to sit in and watch a practice for the respective team they are interested in joining.

The final day, held on a Friday evening, was the anticipated tryout. The attendees from the week were asked to perform the dances previously learned, as a final chance to impress the judges, a panel of the current coaches of the NDB Spirit Squad teams.

“I was really excited and really happy to be able to try something new,” shared new JV Cheer member Annie Stump. “The coach is having us watch the girls do the existing routine as we progress and as more competitions start up. She’s gonna slowly teach us and get us more involved.”

The newly-selected members were given this second opportunity to try out, if not given the chance over the summer. The cheer athletes joined the JV Cheer team to finish out the season, while the Pom athletes joined NDB’s Varsity Pom team. They will be integrated into each of the routines, as they quickly learn to pick up the choreography and adjust to the busy practice schedule.

“It’s kind of mixed because we’ve been with this team forever, but it’s exciting because we get to meet new people and they get to try out and they’ll possibly want to do it (cheer) next year with us again,” says JV Cheer member Jennifer Elwood. “The coach hasn’t gotten that far in teaching the new members our routine since we just had our competition, but today we are going to start incorporating them in the dance. Since we had the entire summer to learn this choreography and rehearse it, practices have been slower, but they are still catching up fast.”

With JV Cheer and Varsity Pom both placing first in the competition on November 12, the Spirit Squad program is on a rise and excited to integrate new members into these teams. Although having joined late, the new Spirit Squad members are helping to improve their own skills, as well as implementing them into their new competition routines.