PV Cheer Navigates This Unique Sports Season
Palos Verdes High School has a well-deserved reputation for its strong athletic program. The PVHS Cheer Team is no exception to this.
The squad is an essential part of the athletic program attending all home and away football games and men’s & women’s basketball games.
The squad is led by Jama Maxfield, who has been the Varsity Head Coach since 2006. In her role, she has led hundreds of girls and taught them how to be strong ambassadors of the school, both on and off the field.
The PVHS Cheer Team starts practice in the mid-June in order to be fully prepared for the opening football game in late August.
The summer months are typically very busy as the team learns both the various cheer, dance and stunting routing as well as how best to represent the school.
Being selected to the PVHS Cheer Team involves a difficult, weeklong tryout process that includes learning and mastering three dance routines, three sideline cheers, a variety of stunting exercises, as well as showcasing any other skills the girls might have.
Like all school activities, the cheer program was heavily impacted by COVID-19.
The initial shutdown occurred in mid-March just as tryouts were set to take place.
The first challenge required the Cheer coaches to figure out a way to proceed with tryouts while keeping safe social distancing.
Ultimately, the coaching elected to post videos of cheer routines and asked the girls to practice these routines on their own and submit a video of their performance.
This process was long and difficult. Coach Maxfield commented, “It took hours for our judges to watch all of the videos to score them AND doubly hard to find the split and natural break in scores with no stunting.”
At the conclusion of this process, the coaches selected 60 girls for a combined Varsity/JV Cheer Team.
Once the team was selected, there were further challenges. No practices were permitted.
“We don’t get to be together. No games. No real practices. No stunting. No camp. No real fun,” said Coach Maxfield to the team.
The team mostly practiced via Zoom. However, during periods when the school administration felt it was safe to practice, in-person workouts were held with each student separated into several groups.
CIF has recently permitted athletic programs back on campus, so the Cheer team has been able to continue with in-person workouts.
“Hopefully, the girls will be back on the field soon cheering the teams and leading the crowd. It’s going to be crazy our first game back. I miss it so much,” Maxfield said.