By GABRIELLE SHIOZAWA
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School Cheer Team truly put the “cheer” in “cheerleader” last week with its annual summer training camp. This year’s camp, a two-day, overnight event, kicked off the team’s six-month season with activities such as practicing stunts, memorizing dances and chants, and just enjoying getting to know each other.
In past years, the Pirate team has traveled to California to join other cheerleaders in an intense, competitive camp taught by trained Spirit Consultants. This year’s team has dropped dramatically in numbers from past years, making it more practical and cost-effective for team coaches to conduct their own camp at home in Moapa Valley.
With only 11 cheerleaders on the squad this year, Coach Desi Stastny says that there will certainly be challenges. Much of the team is composed of young, new members. That means that there will be a lot to practice and learn over the next few weeks before the football season begins, Stastny said.
“They’re going to be very busy!” said Stastny.
Despite the challenges, Stastny is looking forward to a good year with her team. She is already seeing a sense of camaraderie growing among the cheerleaders.
“I like that they’re all united,” she remarked. “They’re so kind to each other! I’m just looking forward to getting to know them and having a good, positive year with all these kids. It’s going to be a learning year, and I’m excited for it.”
Cheerleader Hedda Loevaas is new to Moapa Valley, but she certainly isn’t new to cheer. The Norwegian exchange student has been cheering since second grade, and she’s looking forward to a year of cheering for Pirate football and basketball games with her new team.
Ryan Silva, a junior, is another new member of the MVHS cheer team.
“Cheer teams don’t just treat each other as a team; they treat each other like a family,” Silva explained. “I’m just really happy to be part of a sport that’s like that.”
Team captain Camille Hardy commented that this year’s cheer camp gave the Pirates a great chance to grow as a team.
“We have become so close and trust each other way, way more, which will help us later in the season,” remarked Hardy, a senior.
Hardy, who has cheered since sixth grade, added, “I love cheer because it allows me to express how I am feeling while watching the games we perform at and get all that positive energy out! I’m always so excited.”
The rest of us should be excited as well to see some great stunts and performances from our Pirate cheerleaders this year.