Step up the spirit

Cheer program looks to renew enthusiasm across the board


Kelsey Carroll

The cheerleading program expanded the number of cheers for the new year.

Caleb Stein , Staff Writer

For many programs, changes are necessary to better fit the culture surrounding their team. This year, the cheer team is making some similar overhauls to increase spirit among the students, the community, and the cheerleaders themselves.

“The main change we are focusing on is reaching out to the community,” head coach Shelly Wiggins said. “We want Lovejoy to step up their school and community spirit.”

The changes are both visible, such as changes to the pep rallies, and behind-the-scenes, with a new system the cheerleaders themselves will be following.

“We are focusing on the pep rallies and how to get everyone involved,” Wiggins said. “We are decorating the gym with a theme and doing a class competition with the battle cry.”

In addition to the pep rally changes, the cheer program itself has seen alterations that will improve the motivation for the cheerleaders. Senior Nessa Habibi said the cheerleaders have a stronger set of rules this year to improve the program as a whole.

“There is a stricter system for demerits, so it keeps the program in shape,” Habibi said. “We also are practicing a lot more, which will help us perform better and improve.”

Habibi said the changes were a bit jarring at first, but that the team has taken the changes in stride.

“In the beginning, it was difficult for the cheerleaders to roll with the changes due to the program being the same for so long,” Habibi said. “However, everyone wanted our program to get better, so we started putting more effort into practices, performances, and everything else we do inside and outside the school.”

The changes are set to bring more spirit and pride into both the student body and the cheer program itself. Junior Cielo Ramon said the program has worked extremely hard to improve since last year.

“We’ve practiced hard after school to prepare,” Ramon said. “We’ve put a lot of effort into these changes, and it really has helped us.”

The changes, however, will not be completely successful without the participation of the rest of the students. Wiggins challenged the student body to participate in the pep rallies and help raise the spirit levels.

“People don’t realize that a lot of work goes into each pep rally,” Wiggins said. “It takes everyone to make this happen. We really want the students to get excited and start participating in the stands.”