Cheer Team Earns Fifth Place at Division III Competition

The+Cheerleading+team+shows+the+motions+of+their+routine+at+their+compeition+on+Nov+6.+The+team+placed+fifth+place+out+of+eight+other+teams+in+Division+III.+Courtesy+of+Dorinda+Hailstock

The Cheerleading team shows the motions of their routine at their compeition on Nov 6. The team placed fifth place out of eight other teams in Division III. Courtesy of Dorinda Hailstock

The Cheerleading team shows the motions of their routine at their compeition on Nov 6. The team placed fifth place out of eight other teams in Division III. Courtesy of Dorinda Hailstock
The Cheerleading team shows the motions of their routine at their compeition on Nov 6. The team placed fifth place out of eight other teams in Division III. Courtesy of Dorinda Hailstock

After competing Nov. 16 at Montgomery Blair HS in the annual MCPS cheer competition, the RHS cheerleading team placed fifth in Division III.

At the competition, RHS competed against Walter Johnson, Poolesville, Magruder, Kennedy, Einstein, Wheaton, Walt Whitman and Springbrook HS. Out of nine overall teams in the division, the Walter Johnson HS cheer squad placed first, Magruder second and Kennedy third.

RHS placed fifth behind the Einstein HS cheer squad. Without a 12.5 point safety deduction due to dropped stunts, the squad’s score would have totaled to 357, putting them in front of Einstein HS’s base score of 352.

Despite falling short of placing in the top three, the team has improved from prior seasons. In 2011, the cheer squad placed last in Division III after unknowingly performing illegal stunts that caused their point total to significantly drop. In the following 2012 cheer competition, RHS cheerleaders placed fourth overall.

“Last year really opened our eyes to the vast range of talent we were dealing with, but we were so so pleased with how the returning girls stepped up as mentors to the new cheerleaders and really showed them how things were done with patience and flexibility,” RHS cheerleading coach Erin Ward said.

Unlike other cheerleading programs, RHS does not have a JV team due to athletic department budget cuts. The squad took eight new members without prior high school cheer experience. Ward referred to the situation as a “slight disadvantage” as more time is devoted to learning basic skills and finding each members niche. However, the team is able to build up and acknowledge their improvements.

“As my first year, I didn’t know what to expect from all the other teams competing but overall I had fun preparing and peforming,” freshman Gabby Kessel said.

With an improving team and a growing cheer program, the squad of six seniors, one junior, eight sophomores and two freshmen performed sideline cheers and stunts at home and away football games during the fall season. This year, senior captains Ariana Welch, Gabriana Andrews and Bre Husband were given more responsibility this season in terms of choreographing, teaching and communicating goals to the squad.

“I’m really proud of our team a�� The new girls learned quickly and they executed well for their first cheer competition. I was surprised at how well they performed,” senior co-captain Bre Husband said.