A PVHS Tradition Continues

Isabella Firmani, Writer

Cheerleading has been a part of PVHS history for many years and never fails to help support fellow Sea Kings in pep rallies, football games, basketball games, or whatever the event may be.

However, each year the cheerleaders and their stunt groups have to put on their best performance that determines who will make the team for the following season.

Tryouts for the 2019-2020 school year took place on the week of Monday, March 25th, and all eighth to eleventh grade students interested could participate.

A stunt clinic was held two weeks before with coaches there to improve and help those trying out as much as possible. From there, the cheerleaders had one additional week to perfect whatever they felt was needed and to prepare for the upcoming week.

Jama Maxfield, a cheer coach at PVHS for 13 years, shared what tryouts week is like for not only the girls but for the coaches as well.

Despite how exciting the process is, she stated that “tryouts are [her] least favorite week of the year because [she] hates disappointing the kids.”

“They come in on the first day and they learn a long cheer, several short chants, a dance, and then we do jumps, stunts, and [spirit],” Maxfield explained.

After the students have had time to practice the routines for the first two days, a mock tryout takes place on the third day where seniors watch each stunt group perform just as they would in front of the judges.

From this, the cheerleaders get tips and pointers on things they either did well or need to work on before the next day. The seniors also are allowed to stand in the back of the room during tryouts to give support and help people get back on track as needed.

However, neither the coaches or seniors have a say in who makes the team. Those results are made by three judges to provide the most fair and efficient outcome.

Speaking from her own experience junior Daisy Stoneman, who has been involved in cheer since she was five, shared how she feels when this time of the year comes around.

“Cheer tryouts are definitely always nerve-racking no matter what grade you’re in, but over the years you get more comfortable and build more confidence,” she stated.

Stoneman also mentioned, “To anyone trying out in years to come, as scary as the tryout room may seem, have fun while also taking it seriously as cheer is supposed to be fun, peppy, and challenging.”

PVIS eighth grader Gigi Cole, who tried out for Junior Varsity, has also been involved with cheer for a while. She started three years ago because of her sister, who is currently on the Varsity cheer team for PVHS.

Cole took tumbling classes and met with her stunt group once a week to prepare for the tryouts. As nervous as it can be, she is excited to experience the team spirit and to get close with the girls if she makes it on the team.