Igniting spirit: Summer camp for cheer, by cheer 

The WHS cheer squad hosted a cheer camp for all interested students from TK to eighth grade.
Caleea Jimenez uses pompoms at cheer camp. Photo by Jeffrey Rawlinson/Winters Express

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The Winters High School cheer squad held a cheer camp for all interested students from TK to eighth grade. The camp was their big fundraiser this year. In its inaugural year, the camp was a great success. In an overwhelming show of support from the Junior Warriors, the high school cheer squad’s camp had an entire Junior Warriors squad plus a hand full more.

The ages of the kids who attended ranged from 3-12 years old. Many parents wanted all the kids to participate in the camp. Coach Sterling Davis, not wanting to ever discourage anyone from being a cheerleader, said, “Yes, let’s try it.”

“The primary role of a cheerleader is to unify the crowd and ignite the spirit and energy of the crowd in the stands and the players on the field,” she said. Davis went on to say, “That is what we want to emphasize to the girls during this camp.”

The Junior Warriors were split up into three groups: The Tiny Mights (ages 3-5), the Pee-wees (ages 6-10) and the Midgets (ages 11-12). Each group was paired with a team of captains from the high school cheer team.

The games and dances led by WHS squad captains Annie Ramos and Macy Paschoal got the Junior Warriors in the right mind about being at camp, and made it fun to keep the attention of the younger participants. The games also encouraged the younger girls to interact more during the camp and helped build confidence. The older group of Junior Warriors cheerleaders was headed by Captain Jorge Fernandez.

“Stunting is the most physically difficult and is a dangerous part of cheer, and it is a point of pride for cheerleaders. This element of cheer requires lifting and throwing another person through the use of specific techniques, strength and courage,” said Davis.

The majority of the two hour block during camp was designated to the Junior Warriors learning the cheers dances and stunts. These cheers and dances will be performed at a WHS football game at the end of August. With the groups being taught by the Warriors cheer squad there were plenty of one-on-one teaching opportunities.

On the last day of camp the WHS cheerleaders arrived in uniform, while the younger girls showed their team spirit by wearing Disney-themed clothes, because the music in the upcoming performance is from Disney shows. During the day the girls got to decorate their own hair bows as a camp craft.

“I would like the crowd to know that all cheerleaders that participated in camp have worked hard on ways to gain the attention and participation from people in the stands,” said Davis.

The Junior Warriors who attended the WHS cheer camp will perform at the first home game during the halftime performance at the Junior Varsity football game. The game will be on Saturday, Aug. 31, against WHS rivals the Dixon Rams at Dr. Sellers Field at 5:30 p.m. Come out to support all ages of cheerleaders and the WHS football teams in their season home opener.

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