When it comes to sports most people think about football, baseball, basketball or soccer teams. There is another kind of sport team, one that has been around since 1898, only 25 years after the first college football game, and was first developed as an all-male team. Now, a team of girls and a few boys who are eager to support their team as well as create a high energy sport environment are the cheerleaders.
Today cheer teams like that found at Virgin Valley High School incorporate gymnastics, acrobatics and dance into their routines. Each and every move employs a combination of strength, coordination, agility and synchronization that describes all other sports. The VVHS cheerleading squad includes all of these qualities in their cheers which help to draw the enthusiasm from the crowds at football, flag football, basketball, soccer, wrestling and volleyball games.
Emerald Joy and Burgandy Hall are two sisters who enjoy yelling in each other’s company and with the rest of the VVHS cheerleading squad. Burgandy is on the varsity team and Emerald is on the junior varsity team and are both “base.” Base cheerleaders are the foundations of the stunt squads.
Emerald Hall began cheerleading in the sixth grade because she wanted to be part of a team and have a home away from home; she found it with the present squad. Emerald says her favorite part of cheerleading is, “probably stunting because it’s so much fun throwing people in the air.”
Tiffany Giebink is also one of the cheerleaders who’s found her home away from home saying, “These girls right here are the best of the best. We always have fun no matter what we do. We are all the best of friends and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
The VVHS squad spends plenty of time as a “family,” rehearsing every day from 2 to 4 p.m., traveling to games, cheering for home games, fundraising activities, community outreach and just being girls.
The team hasn’t gone to any competitions this year but they did have the opportunity to cheer at the UNLV game in October of 2015; an opportunity many found to be extremely exciting. They all made VVHS proud to be represented by such a dynamic squad according to Krissy Woods Thornton who is the mother of Emerald and Burgandy and very involved with the girls’ activities.
The squad is now getting ready for their cheerleading review by rehearsing everything they’ve ever learned. The review allows the girls to showcase their skills, perform every number they have in their repertoire and spotlight each of the girls individually.
Next time you’re at a VVHS game and want to boost your enthusiasm, check out the cheerleaders, the diverse and skillful athletes that are meant to knock your socks off and make you lose your voice; the group that rocks the house and helps the crowd cheer their teams on to victory; and who are true athletes, the cheerleaders.