Cheer team expands; creates need for varsity and junior varsity squads


Photo from PHS Falcon Boosters

Anna Bodmer, Editor-in-Chief

For the first time in over five years, the cheer team has reintroduced their Junior Varsity (JV) program due to increased interest, resulting in projected program growth throughout the next few years. 

On Aug. 12, 2022, 19 prospective cheerleaders attended cheer tryouts, four of which were returners from the previous year. In prior years, about a dozen girls would attend tryouts and be placed on one Varsity cheer team. The increased interest this year, however, gave enough cheerleaders to expand into a Varsity squad, consisting of 12 girls, and a JV squad, consisting of seven girls. The coach selected who to place on Varsity and who to place on JV through their chants, cheering, and tumbling abilities which they had learned at clinics on Aug. 10, 2022 and Aug. 11, 2022.

Sophomore and Varsity cheerleader Sophie Dinderman expressed how the addition of a JV squad made it easier to boost spirit at more events.

“We’re able to cheer on a lot more Poolesville teams!” Dinderman said. “Our competition season is the same time as football season, so we didn’t have the ability to go to that many JV (football) or soccer games last year. With our JV team, we’re able to cheer on even more Poolesville athletes which is overall just great in my opinion!”

With their first year reintroduced, the JV cheer squad has been building their team culture and sophomore and JV Captain Aidan Fessenden appreciates the dynamic they have created.

“It’s a very small group so we all work together very well,” Fessenden said. “I think that we’re all super close friends because of that close teamwork.”

Not only does the JV cheer team have a unique dynamic individually, but they also have a very strong relationship with the Varsity team, which creates a positive atmosphere on a larger scale.

“We usually have normal practices together, so we’re always interacting,” Dinderman said. “We stunt and cheer together sometimes, we’re really like one big family.”

Among the cheer squad as a whole, there are hopes to keep roster numbers up in order to continue the positive engagement and addition of opportunities to support more sports teams. Their majority underclassmen team has the potential to create program growth for years to come.

During competition season, there is only one competition for the JV cheer squads in the county each year, whereas the Varsity cheer squad competes at a handful of competitions. Since the two teams are separated for these competitions, it is important that they learn their routine with the squad they will be competing alongside. Varsity cheer placed second in their Divisional County Championship with no deductions from their routine while JV placed fourth in their county competition.