By Jana Rayburn
The Chester Varsity and Junior High Cheerleaders officially started their 2022-23 season with cheer camp last week. Both teams attended cheer camp in Lufkin at the Academy of Gymnastics and Dance on July 11-13. This three-day camp was individualized for Chester, and the girls learned new cheers and chants, worked on stunting and tumbling, and learned dances to be performed during the next school year.
The varsity squad is young, and comprised of freshmen and sophomores with three returning cheerleaders. Squad members are Kaleigh Acrey, Blakeney Whitworth, Lauren Citrano, Emma Byrd, Kyli Handley, Abby Grimes, Lily Read, Lily Payne, and Josie Pecina.
Marae Pounds is “Buzz”, the mascot. Varsity coach Amanda Pounds was very impressed with her team this week.
Pounds said, “I have to brag on their communication skills. The girls were very enthusiastic and had so many ideas for the upcoming year.”
During camp, Emma Byrd took the lead in helping keep everyone on track and organized. Abby Grimes, Lily Read, and Marae Pounds all had great ideas and were especially excited about planning homecoming festivities and pep rallies.
Kyli Handley and Kaleigh Acrey worked hard on stunting and tumbling and hope to incorporate more of these skills into pep rallies and games during the next school year. Pounds said the girls are committed to working hard this year.
Nine out of 10 squad members are also volleyball athletes, some will run cross country, a few have livestock and projects for the county fair, and several will be taking college classes. The girls will have to balance all of these activities that take place at the beginning of the school year.
Pounds has no doubt that her team is ready for this challenge.
The junior high squad is coach by Carrie Garsee.
The girls had a blast at camp and were able to bring home several new cheers, chants, and dances. Like the varsity squad, these junior high cheerleaders are very excited about the upcoming season. The junior high squad should be fun to watch this year as they are ‘full of spirit’.
Junior high cheerleaders for this year are Hailey Purvis, Danielle Hicks, Macey Davis, Madilyn Myers, Brenna Whitworth, Sadie Garsee, TanaLyn Knox and Kendal Watton.