While Yelm’s incoming cheer squad may be younger than last year’s, Head Coach Ashanti Walther said she’s excited to take their energy and turn her girls into a strong, stunting team.
Yelm High School hosted cheer tryouts in March and also announced their new lineup. Third-year coach Walther will lead her girls through summer practice and into the season next fall.
“I’m feeling really good about this team. They are already starting to bond as a sisterhood, they get along great. It looks like when they start stunting, they’ll look really good too,” Walther said.
Next season’s team is currently 18-girls strong. The team is made up of a majority of new athletes with a couple returners, Walther said. There are six incoming freshmen on the team, six sophomores, four juniors and three seniors.
The Tornados will lose four seniors this year who played a big role in the team’s success. Last season, Yelm placed fourth at state out of all 3A non-tumbling schools.
The cheer season runs from November through February. Her squad will also perform at home football and basketball games in addition to covering competitions and performances.
Tornados cheer won’t get a bye this summer either, as they’ll be busy practicing. In July, the girls will head to the Great Wolf Lodge for a stunt camp. This camp will test the girls on their ability to perform stunts and should be more difficult than what they’ve done in the past.
“The stunts are more extensive, harder on the girls. That’s pretty much it. They’re just harder,” Walther said.
Then later in the late summer, they’ll begin practice for the upcoming football games and competition season.
Yelm Girls Cheer Squad
Abbigail Patterson (Captain)
Karis Sanders (Co-Captain)
Hannah Taylor (Captain)
Airianna Aj Wilson