Varsity cheerleaders jam towards first competition


After unforeseen injuries shook up their lineup, the cheerleading squad used their exhibition performance in Jamfest at the Chaifetz Arena to prepare for their upcoming competition.

On Friday night, Feb. 26, the squad was cheering for the OHS varsity boys basketball team when Rachel Creahan (12), co-captain, fell during a tumble. Due to spinal injuries, Creahan could not perform at Jamfest.

The squad had an emergency three-hour practice on Saturday in order to learn the routine with Creahan’s replacement: Grace Porterfield (9), younger sister of fellow cheerleader Claire Porterfield. Grace had previously cheered at the varsity level during the beginning of the winter season when Mollie Kohler (12) was injured.

“I learned the routine in Mollie’s place for about two months, and when she was put back in they made a lot of changes, so Saturday I had to learn it all again,” Grace said.

Even with this unexpected setback, the squad performed extremely well on Sunday, Feb. 28. Jumps were on time and the crowd participated in their chants.

“After I performed I felt this huge rush of energy from the crowd,” Tori Thoele (12) said. “This will definitely help me in the next competition because now I know how it feels to perform for a big audience and how to do with pre-show nerves.”

The girls hit all but one stunt. The stunt that missed was Grace’s stunt group.

“[The stunt group] was thrown together really fast and it didn’t go well at practice and we were really nervous,” Grace said. “I think next weekend we will be better.”

With this performance under their belts, the squad looks forward to next weekend’s competition on March 5 and 6 at the Missouri Game Spirit Classic 2016, hosted by Midwest Cheer and Dance (MCDA), in Ozark, Missouri.