Photo courtesy of Holly Darby
Cheer is in the midst of competition season. In October, the team placed third in the Century High School Invitational and the Glenelg Invitational. Counties took place on October 26 and will be followed by the state semifinal competition on November 2.
Counties and Homecoming were on the same day so the team had to compete in the Division II time slot. WJ is a Division I team and even though the cheer team did not directly compete with the Division I schools, their points were compared with those schools. The team scored 119.35, placing them ninth in the region.
The day of competition is extremely long and involves many steps.
“A typical cheer competition day starts with our team going over to a captain’s house, in the morning, eating brunch, and doing our makeup and hair together, which takes about three hours. Then we drive to the competition together and get ourselves pumped up with music. When we get there we warm up and go straight on the mat to compete and wait for awards. In all, our competition days usually go from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” sophomore Isabel Schmidt said.
This year, all the freshmen on the varsity cheer team also do All Star Cheer.
“All Star is more nerve racking since the level I’m currently on requires more skills than the high school team. High school can still mess with your nerves but there is more support from the crowd when they cheer you onstage. But in All Star we get a spring floor which is easier to tumble on then the deadmat in high school,” freshman Gigi Relacion said.
Each year competition season is different because seniors graduate and new freshmen join the team.
“This competition season is different than all the other years because we have so much talent and I feel we can really do well at our competitions,” senior Gina Walter said.
During competitions there are 11 teams in Division I. WJ cheer qualified for semifinals, meaning they will compete against other counties in the west section of Maryland. If the team places high enough in semifinals, they can battle all the top teams in the entire state of Maryland.
States is a possibility for the first time in history.
“The team would be so excited if we got the opportunity to go to states. We have put in so much work this season, and the talent is definitely there this year. Since we’ve never been to states before, that would be so huge for the team. You’ve got to want it to win it and we want it bad,” junior Jane Joncas said.