Cheerleaders, Raiderettes Conquer Fears at Try Outs

As they stretched, chanted cheers, and practiced stunts, the Raiderette and cheerleader candidates listened for their turn to try out. Upon making the final cut, the ladies and gentleman screamed. In April, these seasoned athletes faced a whole new round of tryouts – some for 8th grade cheer or dance here and some for Northside High School teams.

For Aryss Chambers, 8th grade cheerleader, the most stressful part of tryouts was the practice before the real deal.

“At mock tryouts, people gave corrections left and right,” Aryss said.

Satavea Clark, 7th, agreed.

“If you messed up, it made you think you were not gonna make it,” Satavea said. “Making the team afterwards was the most rewarding part because it makes you feel good about yourself.”

The actual trying out part was 8th grade cheerleader Kyra Selig’s most stressful part because it was really quiet and awkward.

“The rewarding part was hearing, ‘You all made the team!’” Kyra said.

Cheering out loud made Gabby Uriarte, 8th, anxious.

“I was nervous, so my voice was shaking,” Gabby said. “The most rewarding part was all the friends and all the fun times I had.”

Having to kick, turn, and point toes in the kick line all while smiling stressed out Raiderette Nevaeh Smith, 8th.

“It was hard to smile and focus at the same time,” Nevaeh said.

As a Raiderette, Derieona Johnson, 7th, knew she had to be an extrovert.

“You could not be shy or nervous,” Derieona said. “The most rewarding part of being a Raidertte was making new friends.”

For Jalie Hernandez, 7th, learning how to do jumps was the most stressful part of dance tryouts.

“I couldn’t get the jumps high enough, and they didn’t give much instructions,” Jalie said.

One team-bonding experience that several cheerleaders enjoyed the most was the Lock-In.

“We messed with the coaches, bonded more, and played games,” Steven said. “That was one of the best nights with my team.”

Sulemma Castillo, 8th, had fun watching the others’ antics.

“People kept connecting to the speaker and playing random things,” Sulemma said.

The Raiderettes also had a Lock-In.

“I liked getting to know the girls even better and seeing how happy they could be,” Raquell Castleberry, 7th, said.

Nevaeah liked staying up until 4 a.m.

“We played loud music, bounced basketballs, and played Hide-N-Seek,” Nevaeh said.

Derieona Johnson, 7th, also enjoyed the Lock-In.

“We started playing the Purge at 3 a.m. and were tired the next day,” Derieona said.

Gabby Ledesma, 8th, most memorable moment was cheering at the very first football game.

“It was very chaotic, and I was nervous,” Gabby said. “The game ended before half time, so we did not get to perform.”

The Pink-Out football game was the most memorable moment for cheerleader Ashley Garcia, 8th.

“We wore pink and got to show off the cool stunts we’d been working on to a crowd of people,” Ashley said.

The final basketball game stood out to 8th grade cheerleader Angelina Manylath.

“We cheered for 7th grade, and everyone was stunting,” Angelina said. “It was definitely an intense game.”

Cheering on the Cross Country team at the 5K Survivors’ Run is what Kendall Trezvant, 7th, remembered most.

“It was freezing outside,” Kendall said. “Afterwards, we drank coffee.”

As for next school year, the future 8th graders shared ideas of how they plan to become leaders and role models for the next teams.

Derienoa wants to help the new dancers.

“I will be their friend and someone they can come to,” Derieona said.

Alyrie Haynes, 7th, plans to show new dancers hope.

“I want them to feel comfortable around me and my teammates because we are non-judgmental,” Alyrie said.

Raquell plans to help the new Raiderettes become the best versions of themselves.

“I will help them be the best dancers because they have worked very hard and they also have tried so hard through tryouts,” Raquell said.

Ashley Figueroa, 7th, will welcome the newbies to the team.

“I will also show them kindness and help teach them the new dances,” Ashley said.

Satavea plans to make sure the new cheerleaders are doing okay with learning the cheers and dances well and not struggling with anything.

“This year, I struggled with some stuff, but Steven, Gabby Uriarte, and Gabby Ledesma served me well when I needed help learning something new,” Satavea said.

Angelina tried out and made it on to Northside High School’s freshman cheerleading team.

“Learning the cheer and dance was stressful because there would be times when all I did was mess up, so I was scared I wasn’t going to make the team,” Angelina said. “The most rewarding part was knowing I practiced for like 30 to 50 minutes every day, and, even though I messed up, I kept smiling and joined back in the parts I knew.”

Learning a long dance routine with a perfect performance for NHS freshman cheer tryouts was stressful for Caroline McKinney as well.

“Without having the dance down, points would be deducted from the score, which could have kept me from making the team,” Caroline said.

Ashley also felt stressed from learning the dance, but her efforts paid off when she made the NHS freshman team.

“The dance went fast and had moves I’ve never done,” Ashley said.

Steven found the most stressful part of trying out for NHS freshmen cheer was memorizing the dance.

“Some steps were hard, but it was also rewarding because people cheered me on, which motivated me,” Steven said.