Mar 5, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterFor both the Riverton High School cheerleading squad and the RHS dance team, the competitive season starts and ends Wednesday at the Wyoming state high school spirit competition at the Casper Events Center.
Each team has just 2 minutes and 30 seconds to cheer, perform stunts, and execute their moves and dance formations to a three-judge panel that will decide state champions in two cheer categories and one dance category.
For the RHS cheerleaders, coached by Melanie Walker and Jordan Giddings, the process started last May with tryouts and included summer practices and camps in Lovell and one in Riverton.
They've been practicing and performing the entire school year.
"We had 50 to 55 girls that tried out for cheerleader. We do a percentage of the girls and this year between football and wrestling and basketball seasons. We have 35 girls that have been involved," Walker said, but and some cheer just one season, according to Walker. The winter squad will go to state.
It's already been a busy season for the cheerleaders.
"We cheer at eight football games and postseason, and all home basketball games and wrestling matches, and we cheer at regional and state events for wrestling and basketball," Walker said.
Walker has high expectations for her squad at state. Her team has continued to improve in her four years that she has been back with the program.
"This year, we have added degree of difficulty to our stunts, and more stunts," Walker said.
Walker feels that her squad has a solid chance to place in both cheer and non-stunt competitions.
"We are viewed as a sport in our school. We take it seriously. It's a long commitment, but they love cheerleading," Walker said.
The RHS dance team is coached by Kim Krieger and Amy Linck and has nine girls competing in the state dance competition.
Although RHS had a dance team years ago, this squad is just in its second year and essentially has started from scratch, according to Krieger.
"We start at the end of August. We prepared one homecoming routine, and then we do one after and perform at volleyball games," Krieger said.
The girls have practiced three times each week, two at 5:45 a.m. and once after school.
"We're working all year from August to our state competition," Krieger said.
In the winter season, Krieger said that the girls have had input to their state routine that they have been working on since December.
"It is defiantly a team experience, and I hope we are ready to go Wednesday," Krieger said, adding that her goal is for her team to go out, have fun, and perform the best that it possibly can.
Members of the RHS cheerleading team that will compete at state are Kristen Bailey, Chantel Bolte, Kaite Cunningham, Tessa Davis, Nicole de la Cruz, Tory Esquibel, Alyssia Glynn, Brynn Hanson, Megan Hough, Tayln Jones, Katie King, Daycee Lane, Sydney Lynott, Jamie Mathis, Aleena Mills, Mercedes Nanamkin, Courtney Olson, Brandi Petersen, Celeste Rotholz, Baylee Stafford, Kirstee Trees, Kylee Trees, Victoria Verosky and Savana Zwielfelhofer.
Performing for the RHS girls dance team are Rykel Menor, Vanessa Nells, Breanna Gray, Kaitlin Koehn, Ashlyn Coulson, Agate Gamble, Kelcy David, Trinity Stafford and Ainur Zhuldybeava.
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