This summer Forbush High School students on the varsity cheerleading team took part in a camp hosted by the Universal Cheerleading Association Cheer Camp. The camp was held at Appalachian State University on July 27-31.
“My favorite thing about camp was watching the team grow closer and improving our skills,” said senior Miah Smitherman.
Director and Head Coach April Holleman said the 15-member squad from Forbush excelled at the competition, which included about 30 cheer teams from North Carolina as well as Tennessee and Georgia.
Seniors Miah Smitherman and Jasmine Williams, freshmen Gracie Holleman and Annah Smitherman earned All American status at the event.
The cheer team received all top ribbons (superior) for evaluated performances during the week, first place in cheer performance and first place in game day performance. Forbush cheerleaders also earned the title of Overall Gameday Champions, with Annah Smitherman receiving a Pin It Forward Award as well.
During the camp, cheerleaders endured long days of activities, Holleman said.
“The camp started each day at 8 a.m. and ended around 8:30 p.m. We had very little free time and in that free time we reviewed our material and prepared for evaluations. The days were broken down into classes including stunting class, dance and cheer classes, private coaching class and leadership classes,” said Holleman.
She said there were evaluations and competitions each day over the material that was taught.
The Falcon varsity cheerleading team is made up of four seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen, she added.
Holleman said the squad is very competitive so every performance is taken very seriously. The evaluations given at the camp help the team to make the changes it needs to keep improving.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the four girls who made All American,” she said. “Our four girls had to perform individually in front of over 300 cheerleaders. To be selected they had to score higher than over 100 cheerleaders. As All Americans they have the opportunity to participate in the London New Year’s Celebration and Parade.”
Sophomore Ragan Cave said she loved how the UCA staff spent time teaching the girls how to be better leaders for their school and community.
Although the Forbush Falcon cheer squad is a competition cheer team, the mission and main focus of the FHS Cheer Program is to develop scholar athletes who are outstanding student ambassadors who demonstrate excellence in cheerleading, academics and commitment to their school and surrounding community.
“We received many wonderful comments about the talent of our squad and how nice our girls are,” Holleman said. “Thank you to our school, administration, sponsors, cheer parents and community for your continued support of the Falcon Cheerleading program.”
Holleman added that the Falcon Cheerleaders were on a mission to represent Forbush High School and Yadkin County at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association State Championship in December of this year.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.