Imagine if a game was played and the fans remained silent in the stands. For Navarre High School’s cheerleaders, that silence is not an option.
Spring football practice began May 1, but cheerleading has a two-month head start on the players. The team had tryouts in early March. Since then they have been working out several times a week to get ready for the Maroon and White game May 19 and the Spring Jamboree against Escambia and Crestview May 26 at Crestview.
The Raiders have five seniors that coach Amy Walls is counting on to transition the new members into a cohesive unit.
“We have several girls that have moved up from the (junior varsity) squad,” senior Morrigan Webb said. “Although they do most of the same cheers, there are many new stunts and tumbling runs they will perform on the varsity squad.” Her job is to anchor many of those stunts as the main base. Webb is an accomplished athlete; besides cheerleading, she throws the shot put on the track team and is a member of the state-champion weightlifting team. She maintains a 3.0 grade-point average and, after graduation, hopes to attend Florida State University, majoring in computer engineering.
“We are a much stronger unit this year,” senior Savannah Rodwell said. “Last year, we started with a new coach, but she moved and Coach Walls stepped in. After having a full year with Coach Walls, we know what she expects.”
Rodwell is the side base during stunts. She is also a member of the state champion weightlifting team. Maintaining a 3.8 GPA, she hopes to attend FSU, majoring in communication.
For the cheerleading team, there is very little vacation this summer. Weightlifting, a required course for cheerleading, begins in June and continues throughout the summer. Most of the girls that made up the state-champion weightlifting team were also cheerleaders.
“Cheerleading practice starts soon after the current school year ends,” senior Alyssa Chandler said. “We will practice in June and August and have the month of July off.” Chandler is one of the flyers in the stunts. She maintains a 3.0 GPA and hopes to attend FSU, majoring in education. Chandler’s mother, Janie Chandler, is a volunteer assistant coach for the team.
“We have two camps this summer,” senior Skylar McQueen said. “The University Cheerleading Association will come to Navarre June 17-19. They will be working on new cheers and stunts with us. We will incorporate them into our routines.”
McQueen is the stunt back spot. Also a member of the championship weightlifting team, she maintains a 3.0 GPA. She hopes to attend FSU as a pre-med major.
“The football team had a great season last year,” senior Hannah Lewis said. “We hope we were a part of that success. Our job is to get the crowd involved in the game and the players responded to them.”
Lewis is one of the stunt flyers. She maintains a 3.6 GPA and hopes to attend the University of Central Florida to pursue a degree in nursing.