Competing For The Gold


The cheer team is preparing for competition season now. With football at the end of their season and basketball season starting up, the cheer team is working hard to develop an impressive competition routine and win a new trophy for the school. With the new coaches in their first full season at the helm, there have been a lot of differences from seasons in the past. Izabelle Stanford, a senior at Imagine Prep, shared her views on what competition might look like and how cheer is treating her.

“Honestly, I think our first competition will be questionable. I’m not scared to perform but nervous because I want us to win,” Stanford said. “I want everyone else to be comfortable with the competition before I am.”

Competing can be stressful for the team to cooperate and get a routine down before competition day.

There are always some problems when working with a team because everybody has different views, opinions, and ideas. Stanford shared some challenges faced in practice are getting frustrated with coaches the teammates.

“Sometimes there are bad days, and most stunts don’t work the way we planned; in the end, I hope it will all work out,” Stanford said.

Although there are some bad parts to cheer and competition season, that doesn’t mean there aren’t good parts.

“I am excited to perform with our five-man group,” Stanford said.

A five-man stunt group is when one stunt group in the cheer team performs an advanced routine. Five-man groups contain the strongest and most determined athletes in the team that can manage remembering two performances. Athletes are placed in a five-person group by the coaches and a selected group of athletes.

“My five-man group is the most friendly group of people, and I would not be able to continue cheering without them,” Stanford said. “I love them to death, and I am so appreciative of them; they always allow me to express my creativity and try new things.”

Five-man groups need to understand each other and work together to be successful in competing.

“The best part of a competition for me is finally being able to show everyone our hard work and determination that we have practiced for months,” Stanford said. “We also get to perform as a team whether we win or not, and we know that we tried our best. The best part is coming out as a team and winning, of course.”

Clare Fields, Katie Christensen, Izabelle Stanford, Cassidy Shaffer

After a few long months of practicing, many agree that finally competing and showing the judges what the team has worked for is the best part of a competition.

Katie Christensen, a freshman at Imagine Prep, was asked about her view of competition season and how it was going.

“I am excited to compete in the competitions and grow a closer bond to my friends in the process,” Christensen said. “I am also really excited for the five-man group this year! They are great people, and I think we are going to kill it at the competition!”

Christensen is in the same five-man group as Stanford, and their friendship has grown a lot closer in the past few months.

“Competition is putting all your effort, hard work, and time into cheer,” Christensen said. “I have confidence that our team will come around and do very well in competition.”

Every cheer athlete dedicates their time to practice every day, being there for the football and basketball players, and coming up with a whole competition routine on top of that. Many friendships and an extensive community have been built at Imagine Prep because of the current cheer team.

Many preparations will be needed to be successful at a competition.

“We are preparing for competition by having weekly practices, conditioning, team bonding, and skill classes,” Christensen said. “The feeling you get when after you perform a good routine and do it perfectly is the best!”

Melodie Brewer, Cheer Coach at Imagine Prep, shared her views on how the team is preparing for competition.

“The team is practicing regularly and working on all of the components that we need to master to have a successful routine,” Brewer said. “This can include tumbling, stunts, pyramid, tosses, jumps, and the dance.”

Not only this, but the cheer team is also attending all football and basketball games to support the athletes in other sports at the school.

“I am nervous for my team to get in front of a large crowd with COVID being so prevalent these last two years,” Brewer said. “The team is not used to performing in front of larger groups of people, and I don’t want them to feel overwhelmed.”

This can be understandable considering that it has been a while since the cheer team has

competed at a big competition due to COVID.

“I am also nervous about the stunting, as this is the part we tend to find the most challenging,” Brewer said. “Luckily, I know all of my athletes are working hard and want to do their very best, so I am sure they will perform in a way that makes us all proud.”

Each athlete will face some challenging times during competition; knowing that each one has the coach’s support can be one of their biggest motivations to do their best.

“I love seeing our team come together to reach a common goal,” Brewer said. “I also love the anticipation and excitement that is built up before they perform on the mat.”

Competition is the best team bonding event for any sports team!

“While we have been working hard on the routine itself, I will take some time right before we compete to help prepare the athletes before they compete,” Brewer said. “I will also set up a time that they can showcase their routine for family and friends before competing to help them rebuild their confidence.”

This is a great way to get the athletes comfortable performing in front of a crowd before the actual competition.

“I am sure that every single athlete will do their absolute best and I know they will make me proud!” Brewer said. “I think we will improve before every competition this year, and I look forward to watching them grow.”

With each team member supporting each other to do their best, the coaches are also their biggest supporters. Competition is one of the most exciting yet terrifying events for cheer athletes. We wish them luck in the upcoming January events and let their hard work represent the school at CAA.