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Cheerleading Tryouts

In recent years, Mercy Cheerleading has gained much popularity. Each year, more and more girls attend tryouts with the hopes of becoming a member of the team. This year, more than forty prospective cheerleaders signed up for tryouts. Mrs. Powers, the cheerleading coach, began planning for tryouts over a month ago in an effort to ensure that the process ran as smoothly as possible. As the graduating senior cheerleaders run the tryouts, they received the material weeks in advance to prepare to teach it to the girls trying out. The seniors work together with Mrs. Powers to craft the most effective timeline for the clinics to take full advantage of the allotted time with the girls.

Cheerleading tryout clinics consist of three days. On the first day, the girls acclimate to the new environment. For the incoming freshmen or transfer students, this means adjusting to Mercy and the returning cheerleaders. Returning Mercy cheerleaders meet the new students for the first time and answer questions about Mercy and cheerleading. On the first day, senior captains review and teach basic cheerleading motions and jump techniques. From there, seniors teach one of the cheers that the girls will perform in their tryout. On day two, material from day one is reviewed and the longer cheer is taught. Day three entails review of all previously learned material and learning the dance. On day three, the girls are told their tryout times and tryout group, so they have the opportunity to practice with their group. All of the material comes from UCA, the United Cheerleaders Association. This organization hosts the cheerleading camps that the varsity team attends each summer.

A typical cheer tryout occurs in Franey Hall. In groups of four or five, the prospective cheerleaders check in with a senior in the Dining Hall. From there, they warm up and are escorted into a warmup room where they have the opportunity to review their tryout material: two cheers, a dance, two kicks, and two jumps. Dressed in black and white, the girls make their way to Franey Hall. They stand in a line in front of two judges, both of whom have cheer experience. This year, the judges were Mercy Cheerleading alumna Mia Norton and Lacee Houtaling from the class of 2023. The tryouts took place on a Friday afternoon after school. Often, girls are placed with one friend and some new friends to encourage community among girls who may be teammates in the future.

Cheerleading tryouts can be a nerve-wracking experience for many of the girls. However, the seniors and Mrs. Powers work tirelessly to ensure a fun and productive environment for them. For example, on the second day of tryouts, the seniors led the girls in a dance party to lessen the stress about tryouts. Cheer is a fun activity, so tryouts should also be fun to keep the vibes consistent. The cheerleading team continues to grow, and they encourage new people to try out each year. If you are interested in trying out for cheer, attend events where the Mercy Cheer Team is performing, and try out next year!



Landry Lehan
Senior at Mercy High School. Cheerleading Captain, FBLA President, Mock Trial Captain, Student Ambassador.
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