Jaina the Cheerleader

My oldest child has always had dreams of being a cheerleader. They started when she met her friend Ashlan in the 1st grade. They cheered together for Upward Basketball in 2nd grade.

Ah, they were so stinkin' cute! Ashlan's mom Brittany was their cheer coach that year. Ashlan comes from a family of cheerleaders who just naturally are great at cheering and tumbling.

I'm sad to say that Jaina does not have those genetics in our family. But despite having never cheered a day in my life, I took on the role of Cheer Coach after Ashlan's family moved.

It was still fun for Jaina and she made some great friends that year. Friends she is STILL friends with years later :)

Once she aged out of Upward, Jaina decided to cheer for our town's Recreational football team, the D2 Titans.

D2 NSYAA is a great organization for baseball, cheer, and football. I highly recommend it!

Then came Middle school and my sweet 6th grader did not make it on the cheer squad :( It came down to the fact that she wasn't that skilled in tumbling and had not gotten her back handspring down. So, she enrolled in tumbling classes at Star Makers and hoped to try out again the next year.

Instead, she decided to try her hand at contemporary Jazz dance and give up on tumble/cheer for a while.

Until she got into High Point Academy...

HPA is a relatively new school who is still building their sports programs and extra curricular activities. When my kids started going to HPA last Fall, there was no cheer team. It was announced later that one was forming.

Jaina tried out and made the team (as did 90% of the participants). There's no uniforms, very few stunts, and everyone is just learning how this thing works, but she's having so much fun!

I was able to attend the first varsity basketball game and it was painful to watch. Or, maybe my expectations were off a bit having just finished all 9 seasons of One Tree Hill. Lucas and Nathan sure do know how to play some basketball!

Anyway, I was able to take my camera to Friday night's game and wow... everyone has improved so much! Players and cheerleaders alike!

The boys' game was SO exciting! We won by the skin of our teeth and the game was close the entire last half.

Our players put up some nice shots from the foul line with 2 seconds left in the game. Intense, I tell ya!

Back to the cheerleaders...

For now, the girls sit/stand on the bleachers and practice the cheers they've learned. Hopefully soon their coaches will feel like they can graduate to standing on the sidelines the entire time.

Jaina is a front spot and is part of a great stunt group.

They have improved so much!

A few of the girls do know how to tumble and showed off their skills during half time. The whole team is working on a dance to perform when they are ready.

Go Grizzlies!!


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