By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Teagan Gilbert was determined, determined, determined to master cheerleading pike jumps on Thursday and nothing, not even wobbly landings, could stop her.
Teagan, 7, joined 20 other girls in grades kindergarten through sixth grade Thursday for a cheerleading skills clinic taught by the Geneva High School varsity cheerleaders.
Varsity cheerleading coach Vicky Doherty said the 14 varsity cheerleaders held the clinic at Geneva High School to raise funds for new cheerleading uniforms and to show off the fun of cheering.
“This is a way for the squad to give back to the community by working with the kids,” she said. “They love it.”
The new uniforms won’t be cheap, Doherty said. The bill will likely top $4,000.
“This is a very dedicated and determined group of students and they want to make the most of their skills,” she said. “They are also very community-minded. We attend a lot of community events throughout the year.”
Cheerleader Emmie Ankrom, 18, said she is always excited to share her love of cheerleading.
“I love seeing the little girls have fun as they learn new things,” she said. “I think they start liking cheerleading here. This is where it starts being real for them, the idea that they could be cheerleaders. This could be the start of a dream for some of them.”
Caitlyn Jeppe, 9, said she just wanted to try cheerleading to see if she wanted to keep doing it.
Emily Showman, 9, said doing splits can be tough.
“But when you are a cheerleader, you get to spend time with your friends and cheer!” she said.
Doherty said she is thrilled to see the cheerleaders teaching so well and to see the students really taking in the skills.
“This program helps promote cheerleading for years to come,” she said. “This isn’t something these girls are going to forget.”
To donate to the Geneva High School Varsity Cheerleaders Uniform Fund, call Doherty at 319-4962.