Cheerleaders get loud and proud

Emmy Goetze, Reporter

As students look out from the stands, a cheer breaks out from the girls up front. “Hey you! You know the story! Tell the whole wide world this is Viking territory!”

The girls facing the crowd are all a part of the cheer team who cheer on and encourage many sports teams throughout the year. Behind the scenes, the cheerleaders work to raise school spirit and engage with the community.

“Every girl on the cheer team is somehow a part of any school event you can think of,” senior cheer captain Hannah Huntington said.

The squad helps out with all sorts of school activities like assemblies, homecoming, and football games.

The football team’s current record of 5-4 and qualification for the playoffs has caused a burst of enthusiasm and spirit from Viking football fans.

“It’s really exciting to actually get some wins in for our football team,” Huntington said. “I definitely think that people have been more excited to go to the games.”

Normally, at this point in the season, the cheer team’s spirit begins to lull, cheer coach Sarah Heindel said, “but this year there’s still a lot of excitement around every Friday night.”

The squad additionally cheers on plenty of teams throughout the year such as soccer, basketball, wrestling, cross country and many more.

“We support almost every sport team by going to watch one of their games or matches even if we don’t cheer for them,” Huntington said.

This past summer to prepare for their cheer season, the entire squad attended a summer camp at Central Washington University as they do every year. At the camp, the girls cheered for the entire day alongside other high school squads.

“We spent a whole entire week together and went everywhere as a team,” Sophomore Khadriana Hein said. “When we were back in our dorms, we’d have dance parties and eat snacks and jam out listening to music; we even had moments where we all sat in a circle and shared stuff about ourselves.”

During football season they continue their team bonding through team dinners, sleepovers and pre football game food outings.

The squad readies their cheers and dances every day after school for over two hours. Their afternoon practices consist of conditioning, learning new dances and polishing old ones to make their dances and cheers perfect for the football games.

During the games, the squad stands below the student section shouting out cheers and hyping up the crowd.

“I love being in front of the student section and being able to watch everyone’s faces during the game,” Huntington said. “When I look at everyone they all seem so happy, and I enjoy watching everyone share these fun moments.”