Starting off the year, the Varsity cheer team spends their practices reviewing cheers and creating unique halftime routines, while simultaneously practicing advanced stunts and tumbling to prepare for the rapidly approaching competition season. Captains Maya Armstrong and Kate Merrick incorporate games into practices to help with team bonding. Varsity freshman Lily Dyer states “[Her] favorite part about cheer is probably the family aspect of it.” The long practice hours, team bonding, and football games help everyone on the team, despite the grade differences, get to know each other better. Highlighting one of her favorite members on the team, senior Samantha Nilsen, Lily states, “I look up to Sam on the team because she is a great tumbler, always knows the cheers, and is fun and exciting to be around.” Because the team is working towards two different goals—creating a fun environment for football and mastering an advanced routine that will allow the competition team to travel back to Florida for nationals—the varsity practices are always filled with hard work. Make sure to come support the cheer team September 16 at home as the football team plays against Piedmont Hills.