Four varsity cheerleaders have generated school spirit in the hallways, at pep assemblies and on the sidelines at Prairie City School.
The team is led by Jill Wright, whose enthusiasm for the sport has only continued to build since she began coaching 17 years ago.
“It’s my passion — I love cheer,” Wright said.
She said it’s fun teaching the girls dances and cheers, and seeing them progress.
“The harder we work, the better we get,” she said.
Wright’s love for cheer has rubbed off on her squad, which includes junior Shaelynn Bice, sophomore Jayda DuBois and freshmen Hannah Wall and Tianna Lawrence.
Hannah Wall also played volleyball for the Prairie City Panthers; and Bice, who is team captain, is the Prairie City student body president, a high-honor student and a reporter for FFA’s Strawberry Mountain District.
Bice said the team started their work together last summer, starting with a cheer camp for elementary students.
The team bonded as they created all the team posters and run-through banners for fall.
It’s a time to get to know each other and get things done, said Bice, who is in her second year of cheer.
She plans to return and hopes others join the squad.
“This year has really shown how much I enjoy being around the team,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to next year, and I hope it’s another good season.”
Getting the school together for pep assemblies, and “having them show their pride and excitement for the teams” has been fun, she said, especially when the students get loud.
Bice said some of her favorite experiences are seeing the reactions of elementary students when the team appears in uniform.
“Having them say, ‘I want to be like you when I’m older,’ is an inspiration to me,” she said.