Cheerleaders share skills with youngsters in Pratt

Ruby Howell
Pratt Tribune
Pratt High School cheerleaders led youhg Greenbacks in jumping and cheer motions during the Greenback Cheer Squad camp and performance last week at Zerger Field.

Last week the Greenback Cheer squad held a performance on Zerger Field to wrap up their fall cheer clinic. Kids in kindergarten through fourth grade joined the Greenbacks and try their hand at cheerleading. Head Coach Melissa Rector said that there were 40 who participated in the clinic. There were two time slots on Wednesdays when they practiced. K-first grade went from 4-5 pm. Then, second through fourth graders from 5-6 p.m. At practice, these future Greenbacks learned cheer motions, jumps, voices, cheers, chants, dances, and proper stretching and warm-up technique. The girls did wear masks during practices and were put into smaller, stable groups so they could properly socially distance. 

Coach Rector said the biggest change this year was the performance itself. In the past, the girls would perform during one quarter of a home football game. However, since PHS is trying to limit game attendance, Rector and her Cheer team decided to hold a special performance Saturday morning on Zerger Field. That way, everyone's parents, friends, and family could come to support their kids.  Rector and her cheerleaders like doing a performance with just the kids. 

“We felt the PHS Cheerleaders could focus more on the participants and give them more special attention; since they aren't trying to do their job as a cheerleader during a game AND lead little ones at the same time,” Rector said, “Plus, any family and friends could attend and the entire performance was about the participants.”

Nora Mandl, a third-grader at Southwest Elementary, said that she loves attending the cheer clinic because everyone there makes her happy, and she gets to have fun with the high school cheerleaders. Her favorite part of the experience was getting to perform in front of everyone. Mandl also said that she will most definitely go to the clinic next year, and wishes she could be doing it all the time. 

The PHS cheerleaders made each girl a ribbon with their name on it, and they wore them in their hair on performance day. Each girl also got her face painted. The performance itself consisted of first, a thorough warmup, followed by the K-1 performance, then the 2-4th performance, and it ended with all the participants doing the traditional “Waka Waka” dance together. Even Ribbert came to dance for that one!