We got spirit: Area cheer squads pep up football teams

Published 10:30 am Saturday, September 14, 2019

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Greenville High School’s cheerleaders are ready to see their Tigers roar on the field this fall and to showcase their spirit on the road, too.

The girls attended Universal Cheerleaders Association Cheer Camp in Auburn in June and their cheer coach Marie Wilkerson is pleased as punch with their achievements at camp.

“Our cheerleaders received Superior (blue) ribbons daily,” Wilkerson said. “They  also received first place for their cheer in the Small Varsity Division and brought the Spirit Stick home to GHS.”

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The squad has ambitious plans beyond cheering on the sidelines every Friday night.

Greenville High School cheerleaders, include, front row, from left, MaKiya Claybourne, Keniyya Webb, Brianna Nguyen, Rhian Grayson and Rylee Ainsworth. Back row, Ja’Mia Brown, Faith Boggan, Jailah Swinney, Madison Owens and Laila Boutwell. | Submitted Photo

The Greenville High School cheerleaders hope to participate in UCA Spirit Days at Auburn University on Sept. 28, and at the University of Alabama on Nov. 23.

“Our cheerleaders are participating in two competitions this fall,” Wilkerson added. “They will compete in the UCA Northern Regional on Nov. 3, in Harvest, Ala., and the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s cheer competition in Mobile on Nov. 6. We hope to participate in the AHSAA State Cheer Competition if we place high enough in the regionals on Dec. 14, in Hanceville. If we receive a bid to Nationals, the girls would like to enter that competition in Orlando.”

The GHS Tiger cheer squad regularly hold fundraisers at the Greenville Super Foods and Walmart. The girls also sell spirit items each Friday at the high school and before each football game.

“Support GHS Tiger football and our cheerleaders,” Wilkerson concluded.

Georgiana School’s varsity cheer squad includes, front row, from left, Bretavia Curry, Ansley Nelson and Shanira Porter. Back row, Zalaeh Rhodes, Ireland Nelson and Tearia Bonham. | Submitted Photo

At Georgiana High School, the emphasis is on “quality, not quantity,” Beverly Cooke, who coaches the school’s cheerleaders with Allison Bedgood, said.

“While we are few in number for a varsity squad, we are mighty in spirit for our Panthers,” Cooke enthused. “This summer we had the opportunity to attend a UCA Stunt Clinic in Opp and another in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama. We had an awesome in-house Skills Camp with Anna Findley and are looking forward to displaying our hard work. This is our first year as varsity coaches and we pray for ‘success, not less,’ which also happens to be our school motto.”

McKenzie School’s cheerleading squad had home camp this summer, says first-year cheer coach Emily Gesink, with the girls receiving all superior scores.

“Kamryn Skipper, JaNaudia Johnson, Leeann Lynch, Bentley Horton and Shantavia Rudolph all received All-American status and I am truly proud of every one of our cheerleaders,” Gesink said.

The squad has three fundraisers coming up this fall: Homecoming T-shirt sales, hand-held spirit fans and scented candles from the Alabama Candle Company.

“We appreciate everyone’s support of our cheerleaders and our McKenzie Tiger team,” Gesink concluded.