Throughout the week, beginning March 19, hopeful and talented girls entered into either the gym or the cafeteria every day, their stomachs filled with butterflies and their minds racing. They have one week to prove themselves to the judges, and they are ready to give it their all.
It is the time for flips, spins, leaps, kicks, and nerves.
The week before spring break is the time of try outs for Cheerleading and Poms at Huntley High School. Both activities attempt to improve every year, and it all starts with the creation of a perfect team.
“I am excited about the amount of talent in the kids coming back and the new kids,” said Nathan Schmitt, Varsity Cheer Coach. “We keep getting better every year, which is remarkable to see.”
Overall, cheer had over 100 students trying out. Schmitt is planning on letting there be 32 on varsity, 26 on junior varsity, and 22 on the freshman squad, which leaves them having to make at least 20 cuts.
They have three IHSA judges coming in to judge as well as the three Huntley coaches.
“Making cuts is always hard, but you have to make the best decisions for the team,” said Schmitt.
“We always tell the girls to keep their chins up, and keep working,” said Chrissy Amling varsity Poms coach. “There is always next year.”
Amling keeps an encouraging and optimistic outlook throughout the process. She tries to make sure the girls are as relaxed as possible. This way, they do not panic during their performance, and end up not doing as well as they normally would. They want to avoid as much disappointment as possible.
Poms is looking forward to some new and exciting changes this year. The team is going to change to an IHSA sport on July 1. They also have a new coach for the junior varsity team, Kristen Maggiore, who is a first year teacher in the district.
In addition, there was a large group of incoming freshmen trying out this year, who surprised Amling with their pleasant attitudes.
“All of them looks like they were having fun and happy to be here,” said Amling. “They didn’t seem too nervous. They seemed calm and comfortable.”
Both the Cheer and the Poms teams were looking for, not only, talent in their performers, but also motivation and team loyalty.
“It is not just about winning or losing for us,” said Schmitt. “We want to continue to improve the team’s bonding and motivation.”