After going through the motions with their mentors, the entire group of cheerleaders, ranging kindergarten to sixth grade, turned to Julie Rueger and shouted a request.
“Hey, D.J., drop that beat, please!”
The Seymour High School cheerleading team conducted a two-session camp this past week in the auxiliary gym.
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Twenty-one kids attended the camp, which focused on learning cheers, chants and dances.
The sessions, which lasted three hours each, were on Tuesday and Thursday.
“I liked all of the nice people. We worked on a lot of dances,” Graham Creek Elementary third-grader Clark Branham said. “I enjoyed it. I want to get better at stunts.”
Rueger, the Owls’ coach, had 15 of her high school girls helping her during the camp.
“I think it was good to have some of the younger girls come and share an experience with us,” incoming SHS freshman Destiny Arthur said. “When they get older, we will have girls that know exactly what they’re doing. I enjoyed doing the dances and seeing them laugh and smile.”
Incoming SHS freshman Kaitlyn Proctor said she found out she wanted to be a cheerleader by attending a camp when she was younger.
“I went to one when I was really little,” she said. “It made me realize that I wanted to be a cheerleader. I like the idea of doing this every year for the little girls.”
Youth cheerleading will soon commence for the Seymour Area Youth Football League, Rueger said. The program, which is open to incoming second through sixth-graders, is coached by the high school and middle school cheerleaders.
Those kids involved in the SAYFL will cheer in six games, and also at a varsity football game this fall. More information can be found at SAYFL.org.
Incoming SHS senior Grace Rueger said that many of the kids that went to the camp will come to the varsity football games.
“We see them at the games. They will stand at the fence and cheer along with the ones they know,” Rueger said. “They will do their dance and shout your names. We worked on a lot of the basic skills (at camp) The things that kind of get overlooked as you get older. You need to know those things in order to progress.”
A week prior to the youth camp, the SHS cheerleaders went to Indiana University for a camp by Universal Cheerleaders Association.
At the camp, the Owls finished with a second place trophy on their game day performance, which qualified them to cheer at the Citrus Bowl this January in Orlando, Fla.
Four girls were also selected to be All-Americans, and will be given the opportunity to cheer in the New Year’s Day parade in London, England. Grace Rueger, Chloe Hatton, Katie Deppen and Olivia Schrink all made the cut.
Coach Rueger said the team will be doing fundraisers in hopes of being able to travel to the events.