Cheer strives for greatness


Photo courtesy of Ava Franke

WJ cheer excites fans at the first home game of the year. They make sure to get the student section hyped at every game.

After losing many valuable seniors, WJ cheer is back and has one ultimate goal: to make states. After a rough finish last year, failing to advance to states, the cheer team has extreme determination to get on track for a successful season by first qualifying for regionals.

Cheer has less all-star experience this year which means most of the cheerleaders only cheer for WJ. This lack of experience leads to practices full of learning new stunts.

“Many people on the team have little cheer experience, so there has been lots of learning going on, but everyone is working as hard as they can, so that we can put out the best result possible in each competition,” senior captain Kate Fuller said.

Cheer made states for their first and only time in 2019 and are looking to get back to that success. It is hard because they do not have all of the necessary equipment in order to be as successful as they can be.

“Our goal is to make states this year and not have the mistakes we made last year to hold us out of states by just a few points,” senior captain Ava Franke said.

The cheer team attends every football game and does many stunts and cheers. They are extremely spirited and use these games to practice stunts and get ready for competitions.

“Sideline cheer helps us because we use it as practice and show our support to Walter Johnson football,” senior captain Gianna Relacion said.

The difference between sideline and competition cheer is very big for WJ’s program. The cheerleaders focus everything on their competitions, so sideline really helps them with practicing their routines.

“Sideline helps us because we can practice our routine in front of a crowd. We have many practices, but the sideline gives us the pressure of many people around and watching,” Fuller said.

Cheer has a workload just like other sports teams at WJ. They practice everyday and some practices last up to four hours. They only have four mats to work with, but they make it work in the time frame they have to practice.

“Cheer routines can be very difficult and take a lot of practice, so we need to use all of our practice time to the best of our abilities to be completely prepared for our competitions. It is also hard because we need more mats and we only have four,” Franke said.

Cheer is looking forward to competing at invitationals on Wednesday, Oct. 19.