Cheerleading to return this fallSomething has been missing at Two Harbors High School football games the past few years.
By: Sonja Peterson, Lake County News Chronicle
Something has been missing at Two Harbors High School football games the past few years.
“You expect cheerleaders at football games,” Melanie Ross said. She and Tanya Peterson will be the coaches of the newly formed Agate Cheer Squad, a group of eight girls who will be cheering at games this fall.
“We heard some rumblings in the stands last fall,” Ross said. “Tom Nelson, the football coach, told me that we had to do something about school spirit.” The school hasn’t had football cheerleaders since 2005, though a group of girls did cheer at the homecoming game two years ago.
“Quite a few people in the community have said that we need to bring it back, and with the help of Community Ed, we were able to do so,” activities director Scott Ross said. The squad will be run entirely through Community Education, and will not use school money or transportation.
Word got out of the idea and about 30 girls showed genuine interest. Boys were also invited but none tried out. Twelve girls eventually completed a series of tryouts for the eight spots.
Lindsay Anderson, one team member, called the tryouts “pretty nerve-wracking.”
“It was tough, they were all really close,” Melanie Ross said. She judged tryouts along with Peterson, Tom Nelson and Tara Kasell.
The squad will be at all four home games and travel to three away games as well as any playoff games the football team qualifies for. Despite the time required to attend all the games, about half of the squad will also be competing in other sports, including soccer and swimming. “They had to get parents’ and coaches’ permission, because of the extra time commitment and financial burden,” Ross said.
Cheer squad members will pay the same fee other high school athletes pay. The money will go to Community Education and pay for the advisors and equipment. They’ll also be doing fund-raising to help cover the costs of uniforms and transportation.
The team will practice twice a week for most of the summer and they’ll attend a camp in August. They’re also beginning to plan other ways to improve school spirit. “We want to have a tailgate party for our first home game,” Ross said.
“You know what was really sad, at our first day of tryouts the girls had to learn the moves to the school song, and only one girl knew the words,” Ross said. “You have 17 girls at tryouts and only one knows the school song?”
It was more evidence, Ross said, of a lack of school spirit. The Agate Cheer Squad is hoping to bring it back.