SP cheerleaders new leader

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 20, 2012

The South Panola cheerleaders are preparing for kiddie camp. On top from left to right are Richie Keel, Brooke Taylor and Morgan Neese, (bottom) Jazlyn Jones, Celeste Wyatt, Bri Jones, Jordan Potts, Grayson Pickett, Katie Grace Carlini, KeArria Wright, Emily Appleton, Eriyunnah Montgomery, and (front) Danielle Gipson. The Panolian photo by Angie Ledbetter

Ware takes over helm as SP cheerleading coach

Editor’s Note: In the printed newspaper, Ware said the school pays for the airplane ticket to nationals. That was a mistake. The girls pay for their own airplane tickets.

By Angie Ledbetter

Sarah Helen Ware has assumed the duties of head coach of the South Panola varsity and junior high cheerleading squads.

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“It’s going to be a challenge because I’m doing this by myself and am busy enough with three young children but my goal is to keep the program on the same pace that it’s been,” Ware said. “We’ll still cheer Friday nights, compete, do the same fundraisers and try to keep it the same especially for the girls where it’ll not be a big change for them.”

Angela Hannaford at Pope will assist Ware with paperwork and Trey Griffin from Pride Athletics will help at practices.

With Ware as the new leader, she said it affected the girls at the beginning because it was so sudden but they were determined to keep on and not let the program go down.

The varsity squad consists of 23 girls that include two seniors, Jasmine Jones and Courtney Mitchell. Captains are Brooke Taylor, Tori Willis and Tee Scott. The junior high squad has 25 girls.

“One of the seniors is new to the school and has never cheered before beyond all-star as a little girl and the other was added at nationals last year so she’s never cheered at a football game or competition. Two of my captains are juniors and the other one is a sophomore.”

Ware expects more changes to occur this year, but said those changes are “up in the air.”

“It’s going to be different because we lost some girls that didn’t come back and try out,” she said. “It depends on how far some of the girls get with their tumbling and we’ve been pleasantly surprised with them. We have several competing at the varsity level for the first time in their life and they’ve surprised us at how far they’ve learned this quickly.”

Ware was happy how summer practice has gone as they meet every Monday and Thursday for two hours with tumbling on Tuesdays. They are preparing for competition and kiddie camp.

Kiddie Camp will be July 23-26 from 5 -7 p.m. for ages 4-12. The cost is $50 that includes a T-shirt.
Extra T-shirts will be on sale to the public for $10 only at registration.

“The campers will learn a dance, a couple of cheers plus building a pyramid with some stunting with the older girls,” Ware said.

“Anybody can come out every night and sit in the bleachers to watch but most importantly we want them to be here for parent night because the campers perform as well as both squads.”

Ware said they are hoping to use some of the money from kiddie camp to help defray some of the cost of nationals.

“There’s stuff that comes up during the year like paper and paint that is needed so that money comes from the general funds which is from kiddie camp and the football programs but any money that’s left we’re going to try and put toward nationals.”

According to Ware the girls pay for practice clothes, travel clothes, uniforms, pompoms, socks, shoes and back packs.

“That’s just their uniform balance and the school doesn’t pay anything toward what they wear,” she said. “When we go to nationals, they pay for their airplane ticket and their room package which includes their room, meal tickets, travel and ticket into the amusement park.”

Ware estimated the cost per girl to go to nationals is close to $1,000.

“As far as all of the other competitions the school district pays for them,” said Ware. “We get a budget from the district each year and it’s been like that in the past.”

One big thing Ware plans to change is doing things differently at the football games due to fans complaining about the girls not cheering enough.

“I’m going to move them down and they’re going to be standing in front of the reserved section this year so they can be seen from both ends of the stadium,” she said.

Ware plans for the cheerleaders to tumble out of the run through like you see at other football games and do some stunting on the sideline.

“I can’t get them hurt because it’s a sport when one person gets hurt you have to rework the whole routine,” she said. “I’d like to get the girls in the air some and have them seen.”

The first competition for the squad will be in October in Jackson at the Mississippi State fair with others to follow.        

As far as returning to nationals, Ware said the team will go but she just doesn’t know how they’ll get there.

“When you put those very determined and dedicated attitudes together, they’ll get there but I just don’t know how we’ll do when we get there,” she said. “I want the squad itself and the program itself to stay in a positive light. These girls are working hard and I don’t want the community looking down on them. I want them to still get the support they’ve always gotten to keep this program going.”