Cheer team roars as competition season is in full swing


Photo Courtesy of Emily Ho

The WCHS varsity cheer team ends their successful performance at Counties on Oct. 28, at Montgomery Blair High School.

By Kalena Yee, Arts Editor

From royal takeover to rockstar redemption, the WCHS varsity cheer team has performed it all. After bringing home the gold at invitationals, counties and regionals as well as qualifying for states last year, the team is back and better than ever.

“Last year we were really strong winning counties and regionals, but we fell short at states,” senior Captain Jack Hebden said. “This year I’m really hoping for us to hit our harder and better routine and show everyone how much better the team has gotten. The team wants to defend our regional title and do well at states so we can redeem ourselves.”

Because of last year’s exceptional season, the stakes were set high for the team this year. Additionally, the fact that the team is competing in Division 1 for the third year now meant they would face intense competition. Nevertheless, the team was more than ready to meet these expectations. 

“We performed really well at our first invitational and it boosted our confidence as a team.” junior officer Emily Ho said. “Even though we fell, we scored the highest we have ever gotten and were extremely close to reaching our goal score, which was incredible.”

With their outstanding routine, the team won first place at invitationals, second place at counties, and first place at regionals, advancing to states on Nov. 12. However, getting to this point was not easy. With so many new members on the cheer team, it was hard for them to adjust.

“Last year we lost almost half of the team with all the seniors graduating,” Hebden said. “[This year] so much of the team was new, and [we] didn’t know each other [so the team] felt divided.”

With a completely different team, both new and old members found it difficult for the team to immediately get back into standard practices like last year. 

“[The new members and underclassmen] weren’t aware of the standards and expectations our coaches and the returning members have for the team so it took a while to condition them which set the team back a little,” Ho said.

After a rocky start, the team bounced back and worked extremely hard throughout the season to improve their individual skills as well as performance as a team while impressing returning members and coaches. 

“From the beginning of the season to now I’ve seen [our team] improve so much,” Hebden said. “I respect everyone who has made an effort to fix [any problems] so we can stay focused and work hard to be our best.”

As the season progressed, the team’s dedication and passion for the sport brought them closer together. Various opportunities helped them bond and significantly develop their team chemistry on and off the mat. 

“Outside of practice, we’ve cheered for football, field hockey, and soccer,” Ho said. “We have also taught cheer clinics for elementary schoolers and had a lemonade stand to raise money for the team.”

Whether competing or not, at the heart of every sport is teamwork. The cheer team’s performance this past season has evidently shown just how close and strong of a team they are.

“When your team is a family they will truly support each other and want everyone to do their job well,” Hebden said. “All of this reflects in our performance and helps us do our best. It also just makes it much more fun when the team is all bonded because you can do so much more than practice and compete. You can be a real family whenever.”