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Cheer event prepares athletes for next season

Annual event allows potential members to learn about the team

Elsa Anderson, Features Editor
Originally published May 4, 2018


The 2018-2019 cheer team began their practices ahead of season in preparation for next year. (courtesy of Coach Samantha Burnstead)

The 2018-2019 cheer team began their practices ahead of season in preparation for next year. (courtesy of Coach Samantha Burnstead)

In an effort to allow people to learn more about the sport, the cheer team held their annual “Bring a Friend” event on April 4.
Junior captain Ellie Ingraham has cheered for the school since her freshman year. “Anyone interested in joining Ballard cheer in grades 8-11 was welcome to join us,” Ingraham said in an e-mail. “While there was no direct requirement for members of the cheer team to bring someone new we were highly encouraged to promote the event and keep an eye out for friends who seemed to have an interest in it.”
The event, held in the Commons, gave potential members a chance to practice with the team and decide if cheer was right for them. “We do not directly recruit people from this event, it is more so people can get a feel for what Ballard cheer is and decide whether or not they would like to try out,” Ingraham said.
Cheer tryouts took place the week after spring break, from April 16 until April 20. Because there are currently only two seniors on the team, tryouts may be more competitive this year than in years past, especially coming off of the cheer team’s 13th place at Nationals. “We are open to expanding the teams a little in order to take on more athletes we feel fit as a part of Ballard cheer,” Ingraham said. “I’m not exactly sure how many spots were open last year, but I remember we had a lot more open spots because we created another team (red) so there was enough room for a whole new team of newcomers.”
The black team is led by Head Coach Samantha Burnstead, known as Nieto, and Assistant Coach Paige Snider, while the Red non-tumbling team is led by Head Coach Brandon Durland and Assistant Coach Cassie Buchholz.
Junior Avery Miller is excited for the next season and the new energy that comes from having new team members. “We’re trying to get a ‘threepeat’ at state and just every year the dynamic of the team changes and it’s really interesting to see how everyone’s personalities blend together,” Miller said. “Every year everyone gets more motivated and wants to do better than we did last year, so it’s really fun to see how [much] better we get every year.”

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Cheer event prepares athletes for next season