The Mound Westonka High School cheerleaders have come along way in six years, adding stunting and tumbling to their routines to help rev up the fans at football games.
The girls have shown incredible teamwork, not only with each other, but also in their collaborations with other groups to help foster school spirit and support for the White Hawks football program within the district and community. In addition to cheering at the football games, the team supports the football program in a variety of ways, including forming a tunnel for the youth players, promoting and collecting money for the Tackle Cancer event, getting their classmates involved in school spirit activities and promoting attendance at games.
“They have many duties as cheerleaders, but the main focus is being ambassadors of our school, both at home and away games, providing good sportsmanship and leading the crowd throughout the game,” head coach Nella Witczek said. “For instance, if the mood is changing to a negative one within the stands, due to a bad call, unfair play or even a play that doesn’t go as planned, it’s up to the girls to take the focus off the negativity and get crowd amped up and involved again. “
There are many things that the team does behind the scenes to get ready for a game or to support the football program—whether it is “themes” for a game, putting together treat bags, brainstorming ideas to get fans involved, making signs or coming up with other ideas to get crowd participation.
For the White Hawks’ home section game this year, the cheerleaders put together a poster campaign, asking students, parents and community members to make signs in support of the football players and coaches. They also held a Junior Cheerleaders camp so that girls in grades 2-6 could have a chance to be part of the excitement. The team collected well over 60 signs, which they hung around the field.
“The day of Sections, as soon as their school day ended, the girls went to decorate Haddorff, hanging signs and streamers,” Witczek said. “Then, they went back to the high school to finish the last day of the cheer camp. They did a fabulous job with the 24 younger girls who attended the camp, performing four cheers and two stunts at halftime.”
Many girls stayed after the Section game to remove the signs and decorations, trying to preserve as many as they could for the players. “These girls were at MWHS for over 14 hours that day, with duties that revolved around that one Section game,” Witczek said.
“They practice hard, they are creative, they put in long days, all for the love of the game and what they do,” Witczek said. “The cheerleaders are not the main attraction but a support system. They do not do it to win competitions or titles but to promote school spirit, pride and support for our team.”
Photos provided by Nella Witczek
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