The Clarke County varsity Competition Cheer Team placed third overall in district competition Manassas Park High School on Monday October 25. Strasburg finished 1st overall followed by Manassas Park.
Clarke’s Competition Cheer Team is coached by Melissa Astin and assistant coach Heather Lewis.
“Our team has put in a lot of hard work this season” Astin said. “I have a team of 22 and each one put in a lot of time and effort to try and make this year’s routine the best yet!”
Any fan that has attended an Eagle’s sporting event understands that Clarke’s Cheer Team does more than just “cheer”. The cheerleaders combine their vocal skills with gymnastic feats that can often be dangerous. Prior to the district tournament junior Hailey Masters suffered a serious ankle sprain that resulted in a soft cast.
The injury left Astin with no choice other than to call an emergency practice. The entire team met at CCHS for an entire Saturday before competition to redefine their routine in the face of Masters’s absence.
“With two practices left before the district competition we had to rework the entire routine in a day!” Astin said. “So with that misfortune I am glad we get two more weeks to keep working on our routine and get the opportunity to show what we can do at regionals!
Astin said that the post-injury practice time has been helpful and she believes that her team will still do well in regional competition despite the loss of Masters.
“The girls worked really hard and now with two weeks to really work on it, we are hoping for a stronger finish at the regional competition” Astin said.
The Cheer Team is lead by first team all-district cheerleaders Jessica Schneeman, Hailey Masters, and Samantha Saylor.
Astin said that she is pleased to have a male on this year’s Cheer Team, freshman Nick Sipe.
“Nick is definitely a great addition to our team and we are excited to have him to work with for the next four years!” Astin said “We are glad to have some one with his tumbling skills and ability to base, back a front! He catches on to any position we throw him into really quickly!”
The CCHS Cheer Team advances to regional competition on Saturday, November 6 at East Rockingham High School.