Tigers loose in Austin

Cheer participates at annual University of Texas cheer camp


The cheerleaders pray for a successful run at the University of Texas cheer camp. Submitted Photo.

Story by Maddie Gerrald, staff writer

In the blistering heat of The Bubble, the cheer team sits in a circle saying what they love about each other with cracks in their voices as tears come to the eyes of the seniors that are realizing this is their last year getting to attend the camp that kick starts their year.

Every summer both junior varsity and varsity cheer travel to Austin for a  week of nonstop cheerleading. The trip is a time for bonding between the teams and each other. By having to learn multiple cheers, dances, and stunts and perform them in front of the entire camp, each cheerleader uses their leadership skills, along with learning how to work with each other as a whole.

At the camp, both junior varsity and varsity competed against the other teams that attended the camp for the chance to win multiple awards and titles.

“Since we do compete with the other schools at the camp, it’s pretty much our first opportunity to see how both JV and varsity will do as squads together and separately,” senior co-captain Chelsea Villanueva said.  “So as camp goes on throughout the week, it’s really important for us to work as a team and always give 100 percent from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday.”

The camp sets the tone for the year by raising the team’s’ morale and setting the scene for the girls to work as a whole team and not as individuals. The team members play games together, answer personal and fun questions about themselves and each other, and also have fun staying together in their dorm rooms.

“Cheer camp brings us all together as a team because we all learn each other’s personalities as well as strengths and weaknesses,” sophomore Morgan Cook said. “It is important for us to bond because we spend so much time together and so everyone learns to respect one another.”

By going to camp, the team learns things to bring back home and make their own. The team applies the lessons and skills they learned at the camp to their actions and performances all year.

“My absolute favorite event to perform dances and cheers we learned from camp would have to be during Watermelon Supper because it’s a time when we get to show the whole school what we’ve worked on during the summer,” junior Hannah Hayes said.

The routines and skills each team has learned can be seen performed at Watermelon Supper, various pep rallies, and half times at games. The captains attended a leadership class at camp that helped them prepare themselves for helping their teammates learn the routines.

“Leadership class has helped me deal with situations that happen as captain. It  taught me how to take responsibility for the team,” sophomore  Kamryn Hamilton said. “Cheer camp bonds both JV and varsity together by giving us both lifelong memories to share.”