The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

JV cheer flies into competition season

Camille Ching
Spotters lift flyers Sarah Shalita, Makayla Miller, and Marina Mendez into a pose. Although they come from different sideline teams, the bond on the competition team is no different. “We’re all really nice and encouraging to each other, and it’s good, we’re all friends,” Mendez said.

Nothing screams spirit as loud as cheerleaders do. Carlmont’s cheerleaders are known for bringing the spirit to football and basketball games, but what do they do during the off-season?

On Saturday, Dec. 3, both Carlmont’s JV and varsity competitive cheerleading teams took home the gold at the fourth annual Branham Invitational at Branham High School. Prior to these competitions, cheerleaders spend the entire week preparing.

A typical week starts with a rest day on Monday, but no one lets that stop them from practicing outside of scheduled practices. 

“On Monday, one of our local cheer gyms has open gym, so some of the team and I go,” said freshman Gianna Madra, a first-time cheerleader on the JV sideline cheer and JV competitive team. 

During competition season, there are three practices a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Every practice is two hours long, totaling at least six hours a week.

“We practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we learn practice stunts and cheers in the dance, and then on Thursdays we do full-out,” said junior Abby Yim.

Weekly Practice Schedule by Elizabeth Cruz

In a full-out practice, the team works on their complete routine, combining the dance, stunts, and cheers. Friday is another rest day, allowing a break before their competition.

On Saturday morning, they wake up bright and early, ready to compete. The Branham Invitational was the first competition for many of the cheerleaders, so it was a new experience for them.

The JV team performed as the opener for the competition. They missed some stunts, but as the only competitor present in the JV division, Carlmont took home first place.

“We were gonna win, no matter what. That was nice for our first competition, but it was kind of weird not competing against anyone,” said freshman Marina Mendez.

After several breaks and other performances, the varsity team performed their routine, nailing their stunts and cheers. They joined JV with another success, finishing first out of the five teams in the varsity division.

Carlmont’s competitive cheer teams are chosen by experience, whereas sideline cheer is chosen by age. Those who are more experienced are placed on varsity for competitive cheer, but many varsity sideline cheerleaders are on the JV team if it’s their first year competing. This is Carlmont’s first year with a competitive JV team.

“There’s a lot more pressure in comp season because you’re getting evaluated by the judges, and you’re going against other teams. With football season, the difference is that you do it over and over again so you get used to it and then the stress starts to go away,” said junior Alaina Alonzo, a varsity sideline cheerleader on the JV competitive team.

Sideline cheer is considerably different compared to the competition team. Those who wish to compete try out for the competition team in late fall and continue to cheer throughout the winter. Those who stick to cheering at games enjoy a short off-season after football until basketball season comes around. 

“Off-season is pretty relaxing, but also kind of boring because I just want to get back to practice and going to games,” said sophomore Emily Song, a member of JV sideline cheer who chose not to participate in the competition season.

Both teams are hoping to improve for their next two competitions of the season: USA Northern California Regional 2 and the Central Coast Section Championships. As these competitions are bigger and more important, they require more practice.

More practices means more opportunities for JV and varsity sideline cheerleaders to bond on their competitive team.

“I like how the JV sideline cheerleaders can have this opportunity to learn with us, and they’re just really nice,” Alonzo said.

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About the Contributors
Camille Ching
Camille Ching, Staff Writer
Camille Ching is a sophomore at Carlmont High School. She is a competitive diver for Carlmont and her club team and is excited to learn about journalism through covering sports. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends, and traveling. Twitter: @camilllllle__
Elizabeth Cruz
Elizabeth Cruz, Scot Scoop Editor

Elizabeth Cruz is a junior at Carlmont High School and a second-year journalist with Scot Scoop. She is one of the vice presidents of her class and is currently employed at Nothing Bundt Cakes. In her free time, you can catch her working tech crew in the PAC or in the student section of a Carlmont sports game cheering her friends on! To view her portfolio, click here.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
JV cheer flies into competition season