The York Comprehensive High School cheerleader program represents a new era for the Cougars.
New ideas. New coaches. New senior leadership.
There was a sense of excitement and camaraderie on the home sideline during the Bank of York scrimmage Aug. 16.
Donna Jackson is the new varsity cheerleader coach, with Amanda Wilkerson the JV head coach; Kelli Burroughs is the varsity assistant.
York Athletic Director Steve Boyd recognized the excitement the new coaches bring to the program. “We’re excited about the new coaches and their enthusiasm for the job,” Boyd said. “They went through the interview process and stood out. They worked hard with the cheerleaders in the summer.
“The new coaches put in a lot of hours.”
Boyd said the cheerleaders mean a lot to a typical Friday night football game or Thursday night JV contest.
“There are times when our cheerleaders dictate the school spirit and how the crowd reacts,” he said.
Jackson said the varsity and JV have been practicing as one unit.
“We have 20 varsity cheerleaders and 20 JV cheerleaders learning stunts and routines together at practice,” she said.
“There are no team captains this season as in the past,” said Jackson. “We have six senior cheerleaders contributing equally to the program.”
Wilkerson also said she prefers the varsity-JV approach to daily preparations.
“The JV cheerleaders practicing with the varsity has worked out well,” said Wilkerson.
Jackson said the coaches communicated with the band about the football season. “They’ve provided recorded musical selections, so our cheerleaders can develop routines for Friday night games and pep rallies,” she said.
Seniors Haley Chickoree and Laura Comer said they are pumped for the coming season. “We are working hard to get things done and having fun doing it,” said Chickoree, a fourth-year cheerleader. “Everything is going well. It’s exciting starting my senior year as a cheerleader.”
Comer, who’s been cheering since seventh grade, is eager to start the season. “Everybody’s putting in a lot of effort to make the cheerleader team better,” she said.
Jackson said the cheerleaders and coaches are excited about the season-opener Friday night against the Sumter Gamecocks.
“There’s much anticipation,” said Jackson. “The cheerleaders bring so much energy to the game.”