Sophomores now on varsity cheer for 22-23 school year


photo by Janice Aguilar Lopez

Taylor Sampson, Staff Writer

For the first time in school history, the varsity cheer team will include sophomores.

Prior to this year, varsity cheer has only ever consisted of juniors and seniors. This year, the district allowed incoming sophomores to try out and make the highest level of cheer.

“Having a range of age groups on varsity will ensure that the best cheerleaders will be showcased,” cheer coach Rachel Sawyer said.

Out of 45 candidates for varsity, only 25 made the team. The squad is made up of five sophomores, nine juniors and 11 seniors.

“I am so excited to have this experience so early in my high school career,” freshman Morgan Franks said. “It’s so cool. Me and the other incoming sophomores will be on varsity because it will give the team more diversity.”

Franks along with freshmen Hannah Witty, Ava Staten, Annsley Creel and Avery Newman are on the varsity team next school year.

“I worked so hard to make varsity,” Staten said. “As long as we put in our part, the incoming sophomores deserve to be on the team.”

While the majority of cheerleaders agree this change will unify and strengthen the varsity squad, there were some challenges.

“It was more challenging for the incoming junior and senior varsity candidates to make it,” junior Chasry Supelana said. “The more people trying out makes for more competition.”

With incoming sophomores being eligible for varsity, it made tryouts even more difficult.

“I messed up a bit during my tryout, but I do think competing against incoming sophomores was one of the causes for me not making varsity,” sophomore Rachel Coleman said. “The girls that made it deserve it, but I think they should have to go through the JV experience first.”

Upperclassmen who did not make varsity had the option to either be placed on JV or not cheer at all. Coleman and seven incoming juniors did not make the varsity squad and have chosen not to cheer next year. As a result, the JV team will consist of mainly sophomores and two juniors.

“Personally, I wouldn’t want to be a junior cheering at freshman and sophomore games,” Coleman said.

Freshman Jaycie Rowland, who will be on JV next year, said she feels like skipping JV and going straight to varsity will affect your experience of high school cheer greatly.

“Going straight to varsity means you miss out on bonding opportunities that you can only get on JV,” Rowland said. “The varsity team might be broken up because of this.”

The five judges at tryouts were not from GISD and not affiliated with local gyms or any of the cheerleaders. Judging was based on a standardized score sheet, and the SHS cheer coaches had no input in the scoring.

“With mixing any age groups, it’s hard to make them work as a cohesive unit,” Sawyer said. “This being said, the talent that will be brought into this higher level will have a positive effect on the team.”

Sawyer said the tryouts were very close and is sad to lose so many current cheerleaders.

“Tryouts should be more than just skill,” she said.

Sachse now has the largest varsity cheer team in at least five years with 25 people.

“I’m so excited to continue the culture of Sachse cheer with the new teams,” Sawyer said.

The following students made varsity cheer: freshmen Annsley Creel, Ava Staten, Avery Newman, Hannah Witty, Morgan Franks; sophomores Piper Lovett, Abigail Cruz, Alexa Bejarano, Jacy Wicke, Kendyl McSwain, Malani Hill, Sadie Sampson, Taylor Sampson, Victoria Jaramillo; juniors Alexa Chavez, Chasry Supelana, Claire White, Elena Arteaga, Gabby Jones, Kaddence Martinez, Lexi Oehlke, Madison Galaviz, Makayla Vinson, Peyton Brown, Taylor Wilson.

The following students made JV cheer: freshmen Addison McDonald, Isabel Lopez, Jaycie Rowland, Jordan Thomas, Karmyn Williams, Kella Burleson, Makenna Rowan, Malaika Koroma, Rainey Brown; sophomores Barbra Perez, Isabelle Gamez.