The cheerleaders of Kingwood Park are ready for another busy year. Led by Amy Hollas, the Panther cheerleaders are beginning their preparations for the road ahead and gave us some details about how things have been going so far.
The first day of school has come and passed and so has the cheerleader’s first performance. They had a pep rally on the first day of school so it’s basically a preview of the busy school year ahead. They also have a football game the first week followed by another pep rally and volleyball game the following week. “It’s been full force,” Hollas admitted.
With football season underway, the cheerleaders know they need to be ready to go on the sidelines for their team. “Football season is definitely one of the most pressured events we have. It’s just very time consuming. It’s a lot of time to put the routines together,” Hollas confessed. “It’s just a lot to juggle between showing their peers what they look like here and they’re really excited versus parents and stuff, you have to make them feel like it’s equally important.”
Over the summer the cheerleaders had a cheer clinic. It was kinder-8th grade and a total of 50 girls participated in the clinic in which they were taught cheers, chants, and dances. By the end of the clinic the students performed a show on what they had learned in front of an audience mainly consisting of parents and family members. “They were really excited about it. They got a t-shirt from it and were just super excited,” Hollas said.
By next year the Panthers will be competing in UIL although the alignment hasn’t quite been set. The layouts consist of levels numbered 1-5 with 5 being the most extreme in which they do layouts and double pulls. Then you have level 1 which involves no tumbling. Kingwood Park will have to wait to see which level they will be aligned in to. As far as this season goes, no decision has been made in terms of competition as they weigh their options.
There are 22 girls on the squad this season from last year’s squad of 20. With a talented sophomore class that came up it gave Kingwood Park some great options. The squad has 3 “fulls” on the team which is a girl capable of performing a layout with a 360 spin and is not a maneuver that comes easy. The Panthers have two captains: Sarah Schneider and Haley Wilkerson. They also have a co-captain: Sadie Canion. Sara Schneider said her and the captain’s responsibilities include putting together pep rallies, making sure everyone is on time, and knows their stuff. Schneider also serves as NHS president, Key Club vice-president of service, varsity track, student council, and speech and debate. “Actually I’ve been on a whacky sleep schedule since…ever,” Schneider laughed about, “I find time for everything. I manage.” Way back when she was in the 7th grade she admitted that she just wanted to be a mascot on the squad but a friend talked her into being a cheerleader. Now, entering her senior year, she’s a captain on varsity.