Students try out for pom squad

JP Salazar, Staff Writer

     Pom squad auditions for the 2012-2013 pom squad team will be held on May 3. Tryouts will be open to all present and incoming juniors who would like to be a part of the pom squad, which was founded this year by drill team director Meredith Walraven and cheer sponsor Kathryn Creveling to provide encouragement to both basketball players and game spectators. The team was also created to provide an option other than drill team or cheer for those interested in dance related activities.
     “I actually was on drill team for Jasper Jazz my sophomore year, and although I liked it a lot, ultimately, it was just too time consuming for me to continue,” junior Kelsey Hopson said. “I did pom this year and loved it. I don’t think there will be a better way to spend senior year than cheering on the basketball team.”
     Current juniors enrolled in pom squad have been spreading the word about the club to juniors and sophomores, Hopson said. She has also encouraged many of her friends to try out for the club, one of whom is Taylor Mansour, a former Planoette team member.
     “I wanted to try out for some sort of activity something so that I would be involved with my school,” Mansour said. “You’re still getting a workout and you’re still really involved with a team.”
     Mansour said that the potential that pom squad has is one of the biggest reasons to join it.
     “It’ll be cool to try and implement new traditions like they might make signs for the basketball teams and line the gym windows with them,” Mansour said. “They’ll also all have sweat suits and game day shirts, as well as new uniforms, for next year. We can make up our own cheers and halftime performances, so it’s more original than the other teams.”
     Some of the pom squad hopefuls have never had experience with cheer or dance teams in the school, but hope that they will get to be a part of team next year. Junior Lorena Hernandez is one of the students trying out who has never been part of a cheer or dance team in high school.
     “I had some extra room in my schedule next year so I decided to give it a try,” Hernandez said. “I also wanted to do something productive next year, something I would really enjoy. I love the feeling I get from dancing, it’s a great form of expression. I may not be the best at it but I sure do love it.”
     Hernandez said that trying out for the team is the perfect opportunity for her to pursue her interest in dance, as she has never been attracted to the drill team’s type of performance and doesn’t have the gymnastic experience cheerleaders need.
     “I feel like pom squad is in the middle of the two,” Hernandez said. “I don’t think pom squad would be as stressful or as much work as the Planoettes or as involved as cheer. I’ve had to kick up my workout schedule so that I’m prepared for anything they might throw at us, though.”
     A general meeting was held on April 15 where Walraven informed the girls about the commitment and responsibilities that would be established if they made it through the tryout process. Clinics will be held on April 30 through May 2 where the potential pom squad members will be taught cheers and dances by current members. Hopson said the senior members are looking forward to assembling their team and adding their own touch to the basketball tradition.
     “It just feels so liberating to cheer on your friends and get the crowd pumped,” Hopson said. “pom squad might not be as competitive, it’s very chill and laid back but we will still bring out the moves, and I can’t wait to help the team expand into a stronger wildcat tradition next year.”